Near North Career Metropolitan High School

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Near North Career Metropolitan High School
Near North Career Magnet High School logo.jpg
Logo, c. 1983
1450 N. Larrabee Street[1]
Chicago, Illinois 60610
United States
Coordinates 41°54′31″N 87°38′38″W / 41.9085°N 87.6439°W / 41.9085; -87.6439Coordinates: 41°54′31″N 87°38′38″W / 41.9085°N 87.6439°W / 41.9085; -87.6439
School type Public Secondary Magnet
Motto "Education is a Treasure."
Established 1977
Opened 1979
Closed 2001
School district Chicago Public Schools
CEEB code 141053[2]
Grades 912
Gender Coed
Enrollment 132 (2000–2001; the last class of Seniors)
Campus type Urban
Color(s)      Maroon
Athletics conference Chicago Public League
Team name Huskies
Accreditation North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
Yearbook The Near North Metro

Near North Career Metropolitan High School (also known as Near North Career Magnet High School) was a public 4–year magnet high school located in the Old Town neighborhood on the Near North Side of Chicago, Illinois, United States. Opened in 1979, Near North was operated by the Chicago Public Schools district. Near North served as a new and replacement school for the area when Cooley Vocational High School was closed at the end of the 1978–79 school year due to inadequate conditions within the building. In addition to being a magnet school, Near North offered vocational courses through the Education To Careers (ETC) program. The school closed in June 2001 due to the decline in its enrollment and the city's plans for the surrounding neighborhood.


In November 1974, The Chicago Board of Education decided to phase out Cooley High due to its poor academic performance and the aged building. In March of the following year, The Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and the board decided a newer and modern school needed to be constructed on the near–north side to replace Cooley. When it became time to decide a location for the school, CPS decided to build the new school on the land where Cooley stood. City council and white community members argued that Cooley's location would only serve the residents of Cabrini–Green, a predominately African–American housing project located within walking distance (as Cooley did over time) and that students from other neighborhoods would be afraid to travel through the housing project.

After years of debating about the location of the new school, The board voted on what they considered a neutral location for the school in August 1977. The location was a vacant landfill north-west of Cooley, bordered by North Avenue to the north, Clybourn Avenue to the south, Larrabee Street to the east. Chicago Mayor Micheal Blaindic and schools superintendent Joseph P. Hannon led the groundbreaking ceremony for the new $8–million school building on November 23, 1977.[3] In April 1978, construction began on the school and was completed in three phases by June of the following year. In September 1979, the school opened as Near North Career Magnet High School with an student body enrollment of over 800. The school had a magnet program and offered IB courses. The school began offering classes in eight vocational courses through the Education To Careers (ETC) program in January 1980.[4] By April 1980, The school's demographic was diverse; 70% African-American, 10% Hispanic, 15% White and 5% Other.[5]The school was re–named to Near North Career Metropolitan High School in 1988.

Other Information[edit]

American politician Gary Hart spoke at the school during his presidential campaign in March 1984.[6]


Near North competed in the Chicago Public League (CPL) and was a member of the Illinois High School Association (IHSA). The schools' sports teams were named the Huskies. The boys' football team were Class 4A one time during the 1988–89 season under the leadership of coach Lowell Bouck.

Closure/Building uses[edit]

By 1996, 89% of the student body at the school were residents of Cabrini and the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) took over the Chicago Housing Authority's high-rises across Chicago. When HUD began to demolished the high-rises, It led to a decline in the school's population in which residents moved from the area. Due to this, the school's low academic performance and its declining appeal to attract students from outside of the area, The Board of Education and CPS decided to phase out the school in fall of 1998. The school eventually closed at the end of the 2000–2001 school year; graduating its final senior class of 132. From its closing in 2001 until 2014, Jones College Prep used the school's gymnasium and soccer field for their athletic teams. Since 2006, The Chicago Police Department (CPD) and Chicago Fire Department (CFD) has used the building as a training site. In January 2016, the school's soccer field became nearby Lincoln Park High School's home field.[7]

Proposed plans for the site[edit]

In early 2009, It was suggested by Chicago Board of Education president Micheal Scott and community members that the school be re-opened as a high school to avoid closing an nearby elementary school to house the then-new Ogden International High School.[8] In July 2010, community activist and Chicago Teachers Union members protested that more school buildings were needed and the building be reopen for public school purpose. In May 2012, the school building was purchased by the Chicago Housing Authority and will be use for mixed-income residential and open space uses.[9] In September 2013, a group of old town and near north side residents started a petition for the city of Chicago to demolish the school building and build a city park on the site.[10]