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West Ridge Orthodox Jewish High School To Build School At California And Pratt

Yeshivas Ohr Eliyahu's current all-boys high school is spread over nine buildings. Its new building will help the school grow its enrollment.

Yeshivas Ohr Eliyahu is building a new Jewish Orthodox High School at 6801 N. California Ave.
Courtesy Life Studio
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WEST RIDGE — A West Ridge Orthodox Jewish high school is embarking on a major expansion by building a school on the site of a neighborhood strip mall.

Yeshivas Ohr Eliyahu Lubavitch Mesivta of Chicago bought the property at 6801 N. California Ave. to build a three-story, 37,000-square-foot high school. New zoning to allow for the high school was approved by City Council last week.

The new school building would replace a handful of current properties that make up the all-boys school, allowing it to expand and offer more services for its students, said Rabbi Shmuel Wineberg, associate dean of the school.

Currently, Yeshivas Ohr Eliyahu is housed in nine buildings throughout West Ridge, including in four residences, the school said in a video presentation. Students lose time in the classroom having to travel from the different buildings for instruction.

That will change when its facilities are consolidated into one new school building planned for the corner of California Avenue and Pratt Boulevard.

Credit: Google Maps
A Jewish Orthodox high school will replace a strip mall at California Avenue and Pratt Boulevard.
Credit: Courtesy Life Studio
Yeshivas Ohr Eliyahu is building a new Jewish Orthodox High School at 6801 N. California Ave.

The 38-foot-tall school building will include nine classrooms, a grand study hall, student library, performing arts space and indoor and outdoor recreational spaces, Wineberg said.

The building will allow Yeshivas Ohr Eliyahu to increase enrollment to 220 students, the rabbi said. Enrollment is currently at 135 students and the school has a “large waiting list,” administrators said in the video.

“Currently, classrooms are scattered across several blocks, resulting in a situation that is far from ideal,” Wineberg said in an email. “Consolidating all operations into one dedicated, modern campus will enable the school to offer students a cohesive, immersive, and exceptional experience.”

The school will have eight parking spaces for teachers and administration with a dedicated loading zone for student pick-up and drop-off, according to zoning documents submitted to the city.

The school plans to begin construction this summer with a goal of completion by the 2024-2025 school year, Wineberg said. The school building still needs a special use permit to operate as a school.

Yeshivas Ohr Eliyahu opened in 1996 with 16 students and has steadily grown since then.

To learn more about the building campaign and how to donate to the project, click here.

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