Muslim School Buys Site Of Former Jewish School

The Morton Grove Muslim School will expand into a building occupied by Solomon Schechter Day School for more than 30 years.

Patch file photo of the former Solomon Schechter Day School, recently purchased by the Muslim Community Center FTS.
Patch file photo of the former Solomon Schechter Day School, recently purchased by the Muslim Community Center FTS.

Arshi Mujtaba was picking out school furniture Thursday evening in preparation for a big development: the opening of the Muslim Community Center Full-Time School's second campus in the fall.

Mujtaba, who is assistant principal at the school, said its 480 student enrollment warrants expanding from its current location at 8601 N. Menard Street, Morton Grove. 

On Jan. 7, the school closed on the purchase of a new school building at 9301 Gross Point Road, Skokie, Mujtaba indicated. The building was the home of a private Jewish elementary school, Solomon Schechter Day School, for almost 35 years, from 1978 to 2012. Solomon Schechter has now moved most of its operations to its Northbrook campus. 
Why did MCC choose this particular location?

"Because it was available for sale," Mujtaba said with a smile. "Also, for proximity, so that parents don't have to go far from one location to another."

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"It's less than a mile between the two schools," said Azam Tai, MCC Full-Time school's technology director, who, along with school librarian Naseem Saiduzzamam, was helping Mujtaba pick out school furniture at the Niles Library, which was selling desks, chairs and more after its recent renovation.

MCC Full-Time School plans to locate its preschool through fifth-grade classes at the Skokie location, which is larger, and its sixth through eighth grade classes at the Morton Grove location, which is in a complex that also contains a masjid (mosque) and school gymnasium.

The MCC will have to make some physical improvements to the building, which opened in 1898 as Sharp Corner School, a two-room country schoolhouse in what is now Skokie School District 68. 

School District 68 leased the building to Solomon Schechter Day School, Mujtaba said, but now that it has been sold, MCC will have to bring it up to current building codes.

MCC paid $2.2 million for the property, and was the highest of three bidders, Skokie Review reported. 

MCC plans to have a fundraising dinner March 8, Mujtaba said. That also marks the occasion of its 25th anniversary.

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