PORTAGE PARK — Luther North College Prep will hold its last class in June, closing out more than a century as one of the city's only Lutheran high schools, administrators announced Friday.
Principal Wayne Wenzel cited low student enrollment and "ongoing financial challenges" for the decision to close the school last week. After peaking at more than 1,400 students during the 1960s and '70s, enrollment reached just 170 students this year, Wenzel said.
"I am proud of our students, our graduates and those that have served on our faculty," Wenzel wrote in the announcement. "I pray that our community will celebrate the years that we have been of service to Chicagoland."
Founded in 1909 as "one of the first Lutheran high schools in the world," according to its website, Luther North moved in 1953 to its current location at 5700 W. Berteau Ave. in Portage Park.
In 2010, the square block-sized campus was sold to New Life Community Church, which continues to share the property with Luther North.
The school graduated nearly 10,000 students in its decades of operation, building a "legacy of academic excellence, spiritual growth, and athletic and fine arts achievements," according to the site.