Saving a School
Up the street from Xavier, perched impressively above a tree-lined stretch of Victory Parkway, is a school of breathtaking Jacobethan architecture and Rookwood tile that will soon be an extension of campus. Hoffman Elementary School, built in 1922, was slated for closure because of its low-performing public school status until the University agreed to become its partner.
In October, plans for the partnership got a boost when Xavier won a $392,000 federal community improvement grant to help the low-income Evanston neighborhood on the University’s west side, where Hoffman is located. Plans call for Xavier education students to tutor children at the school, occupational therapy students to work with families and education faculty to help Hoffman teachers fine-tune the curriculum. Xavier faculty and staff may even have use of a day care center at Hoffman run by the University.
“There needs to be a safe, vital energized environment around this campus if we want to continue to attract high-caliber students and be the kind of university we want to be,” says Liz Blume, of Xavier’s Community Building Institute.