NEAR WEST SIDE — Leaders celebrated the opening of City Colleges of Chicago's new $251 million Malcolm X College & School of Health Sciences on the Near West Side Thursday.
The new 1-million-square-foot facility at 1900 W. Jackson Blvd., located across the street from the old Malcolm X campus, aims to educate students for careers in the growing health care sector. Experts estimate 84,000 new health care careers are coming to the region over the next decade, said Cheryl Hyman, City Colleges of Chicago chancellor.
With an expanded footprint, the new college can accommodate up to 20,000 students, 6,000 more than the former Malcolm X campus could serve. The campus includes an eight-story health science tower, a four-story academic building and 1,500-space parking garage.
The new campus was designed with the input from employers, including lead partner Rush University Medical Center, and is located next door to the Medical District. The facility features a virtual hospital with operating and emergency rooms with observation areas, nursing, radiography, respiratory care, science labs and an ambulance cab for EMT simulations.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel and City Colleges Chancellor Cheryl Hyman tour the new $251 million Malcolm X College & School of Health Sciences campus on the Near West Side Thursday. [City Colleges of Chicago]
A dental hygiene clinic on site will serve community clients for free starting in summer 2016. The campus also features an exercise and sports science area with a 900-seat gymnasium, lap pool and two therapy pools. A conference center with 450-seat auditorium and 750-person multi-purpose room is available for community rental.
The entrance hallway and lobby depict a timeline of the life of civil rights activist and college namesake Malcolm X, including his actual Oldsmobile 98, previously donated by his wife Betty Shabazz.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel said the new campus will provide Chicagoans the opportunity to affordable pursue a top notch health care education.
“Our city creates new jobs in high-growth industries every day, which is why we are committed to ensuring that Chicagoans from every neighborhood can build the skills necessary to seize the jobs of the 21st century,” Emanuel said.
The new Malcolm X College is part of the City Colleges' College to Careers initiative that aims to provide career opportunities to graduates.
"When the Mayor and I launched College to Careers three years ago, we envisioned a community college system that made responsible use of taxpayer resources while delivering relevant education that put our students on the path to family-sustaining careers, and today helps us realize that vision," Hyman said.
Students register for courses at the new Malcolm X campus Thursday. [DNAinfo/Stephanie Lulay]
The college offers degree and certificate programs in nursing, radiography, phlebotomy, surgical technology, mortuary science, respiratory care, and paramedic and EMT, health information management, dental hygiene and fire science. Occupational therapy assistant (OTA) and physical therapy assistant programs will also launch in 2017. The college continues to offer general education and adult education (GED & ESL) programs.
Registration ends for the first spring session credit classes on Jan. 12. Adult education (ESL & GED) registration continues through Feb. 1.
Construction of the new college, overseen by City Colleges of Chicago, was completed in 26 months. The project was completed on time and on budget, Hyman said.
The new college construction project is part of City Colleges' five-year $524 million capital plan.
The Chicago Blackhawks plan to build a new practice facility on the old Malcolm X College site. Rush University Medical Center will also occupy part of the old site.
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