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Kenwood Will Get a Week to Take Over Canter, But Principal Jones Has a Plan

By Sam Cholke | June 24, 2015 6:25am
 Kenwood Academy is finalizing its plans to take over the shuttered Canter Middle School building.
Kenwood Academy is finalizing its plans to take over the shuttered Canter Middle School building.
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DNAinfo/Sam Cholke

KENWOOD — Kenwood Academy’s principal said Tuesday said the school is in good shape as it gets ready to take over the shuttered Canter Middle School building.

Principal Greg Jones laid out a plan Tuesday at the school at 5015 S. Blackstone Ave. that takes the empty middle school and in less than a week turns it into the new home for the 265 students in Kenwood's academic center.

“We’re in really good shape right now,” Jones said.

Harrison Staley, the CPS project manager in charge of getting a new elevator installed and the entire three-story building tuckpointed, said major work would be done by Aug. 17 and Jones and his staff would get control of the building after one final week of cleanup.

That leaves one week for 25 staff members, eight of whom are teachers, to get the 13 new classrooms, two computer labs, two science labs and art room set up for students.

Jones seemed confident on Tuesday that the school could pull it off.

He presented a plan that seemed to already have anticipated many of the logistics of taking on a second building, even if it is only 20 yards north of the high school.

All the seventh- and eighth-grade classes would move over to the Canter building. Some programs shared with high schoolers, like the creative writing program, would also move over, but all shared programs would be concentrated on the first floor, Jones said.

Students will need to have a special ID to get into the Canter building and security will be posted in the gated parking lot where students will shift between the buildings at specified points in the day, according to Jones.

Jones and his teachers are starting prepare curriculum now with much of the plan already arranged, except for one detail.

“We haven’t even given any consideration yet to the name,” Jones said. “Right now, we’re just referring to it as the Canter campus.”

He said the Canter name should be retained because of the efforts of parents, teachers and administrators who ran the school until 2014, when the middle school was closed under a two-year phase-out planned by CPS.

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