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Exelon Gymnasium Ground-Breaking for Rowe-Clark Math & Science Academy


Ground-breaking ceremony for Rowe-Clark Gymnasium

On October 27, 2010 the Rowe-Clark Math & Science Academy held a groundbreaking ceremony for the new gymnasium to be built behind the charter high school located at 3645 W Chicago Avenue.  Windy conditions necessitated moving the formal program inside.  After a moving quotation from a Nelson Mandela speech by student Maya Hawthorne, Principal Joe Tenbusch talked about what the school has achieved thus far.  Rowe-Clark is rated #5 out of 93 open enrollment high schools in the City of Chicago, based on 2010 ACT scores. Rowe-Clark provides students with a longer school day and school year; highly –qualified teachers; a rigorous, skills-based curriculum; and opportunities for enrichment through sports, arts and community service. Tenbusch said that the $4.5 million gymnasium will be for athletic activities as well as artistic activities (such as dance).  It will be a “celebration of the scholar, the author, and the artist”.

There was a musical performance by the Rowe-Clark Masai Ensemble, which had everyone singing and dancing.  The Masai saying “If you can walk you can dance; if you can talk you can sing” proved to be true.

Speakers included 27th Ward Alderman Walter Burnett, Jr., State of Illinois Representative Annazette Collins, Senate President John Cullerton, ComEd CEO Frank M Clark, and Exelon CEO John Rowe.  John Rowe, Exelon CEO and founding donor spoke about his commitment to the school and students and said that the school would not be possible without this public-private commitment.  Two-million dollars in private funds were combined with $2.5 million in state funding to make the gymnasium construction possible. This gymnasium will be the first in all of the 10 Noble Network charter schools.  Rowe-Clark is a charter high school which is open to everyone and charges no tuition. Average test scores are almost double neighborhood high schools.  Rowe also announced that he is starting a scholarship fund to further assist students.

After the program the attendees marched outside to the warm breezy sunshine and enjoyed a performance by the Rowe-Clark cheerleaders before the actual ground-breaking. 

Program Pg 1,4

Program Pg 2,3

Keywords: education, Rowe-Clark Math & Science Academy, West Humboldt Park, WHPDC

Posted in Community Development