March 4, 2013
As part of its ongoing efforts to consolidate resources and direct funds back into the classroom, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) is seeking a new location for Central Office employees and operations. CPS is facing a $1 billion budget gap in its Fiscal Year 2014 budget. A Request for Proposals (RFP) to begin this process, which could save the District $2 to $3 million annually, was released today.
“We are exploring every option possible to consolidate resources and reduce spending downtown so we can continue to invest directly in students and their education,” said CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett. “We have far fewer Central Office employees than we did a few years ago. We can’t afford to keep throwing our limited resources at space we don’t need, because it is our children who will ultimately pay that price. It’s time to downsize and find a new location that will better accommodate the scope and size of the Central Office today.”
Since 2009, CPS has reduced its Central Office staff by about 30 percent to its current 1,090 employees. The Central Office, located at 125 S. Clark, has over 500,000 usable square feet and formerly accommodated more than 1,500 employees.
"Every child in this city deserves to have a high quality education that will prepare them for success and we are working to build a school district that gives our students the best chance to excel," said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. "CPS and CEO Byrd-Bennett will continue to make smart, necessary decisions to focus our limited resources so that we can continue to make smart, critical investments in our students' bright futures." The RFP seeks to engage a real estate brokerage firm to help explore a move to a new location and significantly reduce the amount of office space needed for today’s leaner Central Office. The RFP can be found on the CPS procurement website (http://tinyurl.com/cpsrebid) where interested parties can register to download the bid.
As part of the RFP process, CPS’s procurement department will then reach out to targeted, relevant organizations to move the process forward.
In the event that CPS does not find a suitable new location, it will consolidate within its current building and lease empty office space to third parties. Ultimately, CPS seeks to also sell its current property.
Chicago Public Schools serves 403,000 students in 681 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.