Chicago Schools Plans Office Consolidation, HQ Sale

CHICAGO—Chicago Public Schools has announced it plans to consolidate its offices to another location and sell its headquarters building at 125 S. Clark.

The district is facing a $1 billion budget gap in its fiscal year 2014 budget. Since 2009, CPS has reduced its Central Office staff by about 30 percent to its current 1,090 employees. The building has more than 500,000 usable square feet and formerly accommodated more than 1,500 employees.

“We are exploring every option possible to consolidate resources and reduce spending downtown so we can continue to invest directly in students and their education,” says CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett in a statement. “We have far fewer central office employees than we did a few years ago. We can’t afford to keep throwing our limited resources at space we don’t need, because it is our children who will ultimately pay that price. It’s time to downsize and find a new location that will better accommodate the scope and size of the Central Office today.”

The district has issued a request for proposals to hire a broker to find a new building for the central office staff with about 200,000 sq. ft. A new location could save the district up to $3 million per year, according to the district. In the event that CPS does not find a suitable new location, it will consolidate within its current building and lease empty office space to third parties.

Chicago Public Schools serves 403,000 students in 681 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.

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