Chicago Public Schools will open the city’s first performing arts high school in the 2009-2010 school year.

Chicago Public Schools will open the city’s first performing arts high school in the 2009-2010 school year.

The Chicago High School for the Arts, or ChiArts, will be temporarily housed inside of Pershing West Middle School, 32nd Street and Calumet Avenue, on the South Side, with students set to begin their studies in the fall, said ChiArts’ executive director, Jose Ochoa.

The school and its 150 students, all freshman, will occupy a portion of the middle school’s second floor and all of the third floor for two years until a permanent home is found for the school, Ochoa told the Defender.

The location is ideal for students from around the city to access it, since it’s close to a Metra line, Lake Shore Drive and a number of Chicago Transit Authority lines, he said.

Proposed by CPS’ New Schools office two years ago, ChiArts, would be the first public high school dedicated to the arts – visual, dance, music and theater, said Ochoa.

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