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I’d like to update you on the Board’s planning for a long-term home for Urban Prairie. With our current lease expiring in 2017-18, the Board has invested a considerable amount of time and energy into understanding our options and building a plan.
In the fall of 2014, we formed a long-term strategic planning group to explore finding a permanent facility within a 2-mile radius of our current location and City Garden. With the assistance of real estate and financing professionals, we have considered a broad range of buildings and locations.
Recently, we learned that Pershing East, a former CPS school on 31st Street, just off Lake Shore Drive, will become available in the near future. After a site visit and an initial assessment by our real estate advisors, it has become clear that, while it falls outside of our previous search radius, Pershing is an option worth pursuing.
Because the building is a former school, it meets many of our search criteria. With a gym/auditorium and expansion potential to accommodate our enrollment projections, Pershing is situated on a major driving artery, surrounded by parkland, and a short walk to 31st Street beach.
Our next step is to better understand the financial and enrollment implications this location may present. We realize this is a big decision that impacts you and your family, which is why we are sharing this development now — even though, at this point, we have more questions than answers. As compelling as this new opportunity is, the Board will not formally pursue it without the feedback and support of our faculty and community.
It is our goal to engage you in this process as much as possible. Please don’t hesitate to email, call, or chat with me or Peggy Lofgren about Pershing and our overall long-term planning for a future home.
President, Board of Trustees