AbbVie donates $40 million to rebuild N. Chicago school
Global pharmaceutical company AbbVie is donating $40 million to North Chicago Community Unit School District 187 to fund the rebuilding of Neal Math & Science Academy, the district's only middle school.
The donation will provide a safe, modern learning environment to improve student success for children and aims to help improve graduation rates, reduce dropout rates and increase college and career readiness, according to the company. The school's size will increase from 89,000 square feet to 93,000 square feet and support 625 students. The capacity increase ensures current enrollment needs will be met, with room to grow if needed.
The new school is scheduled to open in the fall of 2020.
AbbVie announced the donation Thursday during a ceremony at the school, which was attended by students, parents, teachers, the Naval Station Great Lakes band, nonprofit and government leaders including U.S. Rep. Brad Schneider and North Chicago Mayor Leon Rockingham.
"By rebuilding North Chicago's middle school, we can help ensure students have the right physical learning environment to help them gain the confidence and tools they need to succeed, recognizing that their potential is limitless and their futures are bright," said Laura Schumacher, AbbVie's vice chairman, external affairs and chief legal officer, AbbVie.
Rockingham, who noted he attended the school as a youth, added "there are so many needs all over the world and it's wonderful to see AbbVie invest in their own neighborhood."
AbbVie and the district selected IFF to facilitate this project. Headquartered in Chicago, IFF works with nonprofits to plan, finance and build facilities.
The donation is part of the company's $350 million charitable contribution pledged to nonprofit partners throughout the United States. In North Chicago, AbbVie and its employees have provided funds and volunteer services to help local school and youth services. AbbVie employees have committed over 60,000 volunteer hours since 2013, and have helped to renovate every public school library in North Chicago by building learning resource centers, maker spaces and new career pathways facilities, resulting in more student taking part in literacy and STEM subjects.