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'Chicago Fire' Rents Out Part Of Whitney Young For $250/Hour, Fixes Lights

By Stephanie Lulay | March 2, 2017 8:52am | Updated on March 2, 2017 10:06am
 The Dick Wolf TV show
The Dick Wolf TV show "Chicago Fire" was spotted filming at Whitney Young Magnet Academy High School on the Near West Side Wednesday.
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NEAR WEST SIDE — Dick Wolf's NBC TV drama "Chicago Fire" filmed at Whitney Young Magnet Academy High School on the Near West Side Wednesday — and left some cash and new lights behind for the effort.

Whitney Young Principal Joyce Kenner confirmed TV crews were on site to film one scene Wednesday. The show was apparently filming a classroom scene at the prestigious selective-enrollment school at 211 S. Laflin St., according to permits. 

The "Chicago Fire" crew paid the school $250 per hour to use one classroom, Kenner said in an email Thursday. While the filming did not disrupt classes, some students were moved out of classrooms and into the library during the filming.

Whitney Young students who study TV production were able to talk with producers, stage crew and other professionals working on the show. 

"We used this as an educational experience for our students," Kenner said. "I hope more TV production crews reach out to us to use the space. We can use the money!"  

Whitney Young students also confirmed some lights were replaced as part of the filming. 

All money raised from the filming will be used to support student resources at the school, Kenner said. 

RELATED: Here's A Map Of Filming In Chicago In 2016, A Year The City Was A TV Star

This isn't the first time the CPS high school has been featured on film. The school was featured prominently in the 2015 documentary "SelectED," which followed five students at Whitney Young and examined the truth and challenges of public urban education as their journeys progressed.

There were 4,168 completed film permits issued by the city in 2016 — up from just 1,622 a year before, a preliminary look at city data shows.

More than 1,600 of last year's permits were connected to four shows produced by Wolf: "Chicago Fire," "Chicago P.D.," "Chicago Med" and "Chicago Justice."

RELATED: Booming Chicago Film Industry Breaks Records With $1.3 Billion In Revenue

Whitney Young, named after prominent civil rights leader Whitney M. Young Jr., opened in 1975 as the city's first public magnet high school and consistently ranks among the top in the country. Alumni include first lady Michelle Obama, Philadelphia 76ers player Jahlil Okafor, and Lana and Lilly Wachowski, the sibling creators of "The Matrix."