By Jonathan Rosales ’19
For all Pritzker College Prep students have you ever wondered anything about the history of this building? When it was built? And why it was built? Well, Father Jesus H. Puentes from the church in front of Pritzker College Prep has the answers.
He was asked how and why this school was created. He said, “Pritzker College Prep was founded to educate kids from German families around the Hermosa community. It was built in 1889. The building was first used as a chapel.” It first started off not as a typical school for whites or latinos but German kids. You probably didn’t know that.
Then, he was asked when Pritzker College Prep was open as a school if the building was first used as chapel. He stated, “ The doors first opened in the fall of 1895 to the first students as a primary school. When the building open there were only six classes available. The school was being built little by little until it was finally finish in 1929. The gym was built around the year 1965-1969.” The school didn’t start off as it is today but quite small that you probably wouldn’t believe how it looked more than a century ago.
Since the school was first opened as a primary school, Puentes was inquired when the school turn into a high school as it is today? He asserted with, “ In 1911 the school turn from a primary school to a high school” When Pritzker turn into a high school it didn’t quite stay like that as one of suspected. “ The idea of Pritzker College Prep being a high school worked for more than fifty years until it returned back to primary school.” The school went back and forth from primary to high school until the present as it stayed as a high school. For now.
Puentes was asked if any exciting events had occurred to the school? He explained, “ This school supported the community of Hermosa during the first and second world war. The school also helped families during the recession economic period for thirty years. The school had also helped different groups of immigrants”.
The building as we know today as Pritzker College Prep was not always Pritzker College Prep but was many things during the past century. It was first a chapel, then primary school and high school which changed back and forth for quite a while as it was settled as a high school( present). The building has also helped families and immigrants throughout history.