Luther North College Prep to close in June
The school released the following statement: Luther North College Prep will not conduct classes following its 2016-2017 academic school year in June.
Facing declining student enrollment and ongoing financial challenges associated with operating a small private high school, Luther North will suspend academic operations in June after 64 years at its current Portage Park location. The decision by the school’s Board of Trustees was announced today.
At its peak in the 1960’s and 1970’s, student enrollment exceeded 1,400 students. Enrollment gradually declined in succeeding years, and today’s enrollment is 170 students. In 2010, due to financial pressures, the one-square block campus was sold to New Life Community Church. As part of that transaction, Luther North remained on site sharing the campus with New Life.
However, since then efforts to grow student enrollment and the school’s donor base have met with limited success. Financial pressures also continued to build, as the costs of operations exceeded what could reasonably be charged in tuition and fees. As a private school, Luther North does not receive any public funding.
“This institution has served thousands upon thousands of young people over the years. I am proud of our students, our graduates and those that have served on our faculty. It is with a heavy heart that we announce the fact that we will not be holding classes next year. I pray that our community will celebrate the years that we have been of service to Chicagoland. We thank God that He has enabled us to serve our mission for as long as we have,” said Wayne Wenzel, Jr., the school’s Principal.
Luther North is a successor school to Luther Institute, which was founded as a Lutheran High School in 1909. It has been located at its current Portage Park campus since 1953.