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Ravenswood Hospital Coming Down To Make Way For School

CHICAGO (CBS) – The closed Ravenswood Hospital, where a 16-year-old died after trespassing and falling to his death in July, is being torn down to make way for a private school.

CBS 2's Marissa Bailey reports on the transformation in the making.

Broken glass, graffiti and boards. That's all that's left of the former Ravenswood Hospital, and it's been like that for years.

Neighborhood resident Ben Munro, who walks his dogs Ruthie and Monk past the gated building almost every day, says neighbors have waited too long for demolition.

"It doesn't look like a good piece of property on what should be a really nice well-traveled street in a really nice neighborhood," he tells Bailey.

Demolition is in the very beginning stages here at the former hospital but this will not be a big kaboom of a demolition. Instead, contractors will take down the hospital floor by floor with the hopes of finishing by spring of next year.

Doug Lyons and the Lycée Français School of Chicago decided the site of the former hospital is the perfect place to build a brand-new campus.

"One thing we that's critical that we don't have on our current site is outdoor playing area and a dedicated playing field for our own use," Lyons says.

The current school is at an old building the school has rented for 17 years.

Lyons says it's time for bigger, more modern space for the 660 students currently enrolled.

Total cost of the project is $30 million. Construction starts on the new building in about a year and a half.

Fall 2015 is the target date for classes to start. In the meantime, neighbors in the area will be dealing with noise and construction in exchange for getting rid of the eyesore.

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