Mayor Daley said Wednesday he wants to duplicate at all seven City Colleges the showcase campus that cost $254 million to build at Kennedy-King.
It might sound strange for a mayor who's preparing to sock it to Chicago taxpayers with $293 million in higher taxes, fines and fees. But if the General Assembly ever gets around to authorizing a Chicago casino; if the city ever privatizes Midway Airport and Chicago parking meters -- the mayor knows what he wants to do with the gravy train of new revenue.
"The example was the dedication of the Kennedy-King [College] -- a real campus for the first time. Our goals and our dreams and the vision is to really build campuses like that. ... That campus reflects the future, I believe, of every City College in Chicago," Daley told a news conference held to showcase a new hospitality training program at Harold Washington College.
"When you look at the old Kennedy-King, it was really one major building. What you're doing is the campus effect. It's a college. That alone has changed the whole feeling of Englewood -- the whole South Side. ... The excitement that both the staff has and the students have -- it's just reinvigorated everyone."
The mayor's vision was music to the ears of City Colleges Chancellor Wayne Watson. "Taking community colleges and making them into campuses changes the culture of the educational setting. It allows students to see" all possibilities, he said.
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