Expansion to Serve Young Women

In March 2022, we broke ground on a 50,000 square foot addition that will double the footprint of our school and enable us to double our enrollment across the next five years. In the summer of 2022, we enrolled our inaugural class of third and fourth grade girls. We will add a 5th grade classroom in the 2023-2024 school year and then continue to add one grade per year until, in the 2026-2027 school year, we will be serving young women in grades 3 through 8.

This expansion is possible because of the remarkable support of our neighbors, our families and Christ the King Jesuit College Prep as well as many donors and several community partners who are choosing to invest in our community by supporting the building construction and scholarships for students.

The Need to Expand

Expansion plan highlight video made possible by the generosity of Jewel-Osco

When CJA was founded in 2005, we based the school on a model of Nativity schools throughout the country, all of which were single-sex schools. Upon discussing this model with families in our community, there was unanimous agreement that the school should serve young men because the perception was that they were at greater risk.

Over the years, however, current and prospective families have consistently shared with us that one of the biggest obstacles to enrollment is that their daughters cannot attend CJA along with their sons. Navigating two school systems is often not feasible. Our expansion will remove this barrier and enable us to begin serving many talented young women on the West Side of Chicago.

Views of the Expanded Building

Southeast Rendering from Jackson Boulevard

Northwest Rendering from Quincy Street

Our new, expanded building will be a high quality, well-resourced facility with the capacity to serve 380-400 young men and women. All students will learn in classrooms with a low student to teacher ratio (14:1) as part of an extended school day where students are also served two full meals and a snack. Students will have access to a substantial Social Work team, a Learning Resource Center team with mathematics and reading specialists, a full time school nurse, and a large variety of extra curricular programs.

Expansion Timeline

  • Initial parent survey to assess interest ✅
  • Buildings & Grounds Committee of the Board meets to discuss initial ideas ✅
  • CJA Board of Directors approves campus expansion ✅
  • First capital campaign donation received ✅

  • Initial architectural schematic ✅
  • Community meetings with neighbors and Alderman Ervin ✅
  • Sufficient funds raised to begin construction ✅
  • Official approval requested from Jesuit leadership in Rome ✅
  • Construction documents and drawings submitted to City of Chicago for permit ✅

  • Construction permit received ✅
  • Preliminary construction began ✅
  • Began accepting applications for inaugural class of 3rd and 4th grade girls ✅
  • Classes began for 3rd and 4th grade girls ✅
  • Official celebratory groundbreaking ✅

  • Begin accepting 2023-2024 school year applications for 3rd – 5th grade girls
  • Classes begin for 3rd – 5th grade girls
  • Ribbon cutting celebration for the opening of our campus expansion

  • One grade of young women added per year until serving grades 3-8 in 2026-2027 school year

  • Fundraising for Scholarships
  • Hire faculty and staff to support expansion

Contact Information

Building Expansion and Construction
Tom Van Grinsven, Vice President of Operations, vangrinsven@cjacademy.org or (773) 696-4908.

New Program for Young Women
Kelly Tyson, Head of School, tyson@cjacademy.org or (708) 695-6048.

Support this Project
Mary Grawe, Vice President of Development, grawe@cjacademy.org or (773) 629-8600.