Morgan Park High School (MPHS) opened in 1916, and like any school building that’s over a century old, it needs to be updated to provide the best learning atmosphere for students.
Thankfully, that is happening at MPHS, courtesy of a $23-million investment from the Chicago Public Schools (CPS).
According to officials, the school, 1801 W. Pryor Ave., will receive updated classrooms, including new science labs, as well as roof repairs and a new turf athletic field.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot and CPS CEO Janice Jackson celebrated the investment at MPHS on Aug. 8 while announcing the proposed CPS budget for the 2020 fiscal year.
They said the budget focuses on improving neighborhood schools such as MPHS.
Supporters of MPHS have pushed for improvements to the school for years, and they’ve finally arrived. Chicago Cubs Charities announced in April that it will provide about $87,000 to update the baseball field so that MPHS athletic facilities will be ready for future student-athletes.
In 2016, MPHS parents said they wanted a new gym after a boys basketball game against rival Simeon was moved from MPHS to nearby Brooks High School to accommodate the large crowd that was expected.
The MPHS squad said it wouldn’t play unless the game was held at MPHS. The game was postponed and eventually played about a week later at MPHS.
The MPHS gym only seats about 250 people, and parents’ hopes for a new facility haven’t materialized. During the stand-off, officials said that, since 2011, CPS had spent about $30 million on capital improvements at MPHS, including for classroom and lab renovations, auditorium improvements, air conditioning, a new roof and an emergency generator.
The issue of the gym aside, more money is on the way, and improvements will be visible to students every day.
MPHS was in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons this spring when repeated incidents were reported of an aerosol being sprayed in school hallways, sending multiple people to the hospital.
The investments from CPS will promote a positive atmosphere at the school, both in the classroom and on the athletic field.
Located just off Interstate 57, MPHS is at a gateway to the community. That passers-by will see a new and improved school in coming months is good for everyone.