CHICAGO—The City Colleges of Chicago Wednesday announced plans for the new $251 million Malcolm X College campus, to be built on the Near West Side at Jackson and Damen streets on the Eisenhower Corridor.

City Colleges has contracted with Moody Nolan, the nation’s largest African-American owned architectural firm, to serve as the project’s architect of record. The campus is set to be 500,000 sq. ft., and will cater mostly to health science students, to include a virtual hospital, laboratories and simulated health care technology. Site preparation will begin in the fall, and the new campus should be open by January 2016. The project is part of City Colleges’ $524 million, five-year capital plan to improve the settings for its seven community colleges.

As part of this major construction project, CCC is launching a community jobs program that designates up to 120 of the total 950 construction jobs for qualified applicants from the community surrounding the new college; with more than 10 percent of the total jobs designated for neighborhood residents. Residents who live between the boundaries of Lake and 26th streets and between California and Ashland avenues will have priority to apply for construction positions on the Malcolm X College project. 

“Our first priority in building a new campus is to ensure our students are prepared to hit the ground running in 21st century careers,” said Chancellor Cheryl Hyman in a statement. “The construction phase of this project will provide an educational institution that is reflective of the communities we serve and will advance economic opportunities for all Chicagoans.”