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West Ridge Orthodox Jewish High School To Build School At California And Pratt

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WEST RIDGE — A West Ridge Orthodox Jewish high school is embarking on a major expansion by building a school on the site of a neighborhood mall.

Yeshivas Ohr Eliyahu Lubavitch Mesivta of Chicago purchased the property at 6801 N. California Ave. to build a 37,000 square foot, three-story high school. Last week the city council approved the new zoning to allow for the high school.

The new school building will replace a handful of current properties that make up the boys’ school, allowing it to expand and offer more services to its students, said Rabbi Shmuel Wineberg, the school’s associate principal.

Currently, Yeshivas Ohr Eliyahu is housed in nine buildings across the West Ridge, including four residence halls, the school said in a video presentation. Students waste class time having to move between different educational buildings.

That will change when its facilities are consolidated into a new school building planned for the corner of California Avenue and Pratt Boulevard.

Credit: Google Maps
An Orthodox Jewish high school will replace a shopping mall at California Avenue and Pratt Boulevard.
Credit: Provided
Yeshivas Ohr Eliyahu is constructing a new Orthodox Jewish High School at 6801 N. California Ave.

The 38-foot-tall school building will include nine classrooms, a large study hall, a student library, a performing arts space, and indoor and outdoor recreation spaces, Wineberg said.

The building will enable Yeshivas Ohr Eliyahu to boost enrollment to 220 students, the rabbi said. Enrollment is currently at 135 students and the school has a “big waiting list,” administrators said in the video.

“Currently, the classrooms are spread across several blocks, resulting in a less than ideal situation,” Wineberg said in an email. “Consolidating all operations on a dedicated, modern campus will enable the school to deliver a consistent, engaging and exceptional student experience.”

The school will have eight parking spaces for teachers and administration with a dedicated loading bay for student pickup and drop-off, according to zoning documents filed with the city.

The school plans to begin construction this summer with a goal of completing it by the 2024-2025 school year, Wineberg said. The school building still needs a special use permit to function as a school.

Yeshivas Ohr Eliyahu opened in 1996 with 16 students and has grown steadily ever since.

To find out more about the building campaign and how to donate to the project, click here.

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Written by Natalia Chi

Chicago Popular; Chicago breaking news, weather and live video. Covering local politics, health, traffic and sports for Chicago, the suburbs and northwest Indiana.

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