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updated: 7/21/2011 4:07 PM

Glen Ellyn and COD trying to solve building dispute

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Glen Ellyn and College of DuPage officials say they will work together over the next week to open four of the school's new or renovated buildings on time.

The two sides met Thursday in DuPage County circuit court for a hearing on a village motion seeking to prevent the college from moving into the buildings until occupancy certificates are issued.

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But Judge Terence M. Sheen never ruled on the request. Instead, lawyers from both sides met with him behind closed doors and later issued a joint statement saying they would "work cooperatively to resolve as many issues as possible."

On Wednesday, the college met a village-imposed deadline to submit 16 interim certificates of compliance from college architects and engineers. Village officials sought such written certifications to verify the buildings were done to code, in the absence of village-led building inspections.

The college has argued it is not subject to local building codes and regulation of its construction program is the duty of the Illinois Community College Board.

To receive certificates of occupancy, the village has also requested the college provide final certificates of compliance when it is ready to occupy the buildings and submit to village fire and occupancy inspections.

Ellen Emery, one of the village's attorneys, said Thursday the village and college agreed to a private schedule of inspections under the direction of Judge Sheen.

A status hearing is scheduled for Aug. 1 to evaluate progress on inspections. Sheen could rule on the village's motion for a temporary restraining order to prevent occupancy if both sides can't reach a resolution.

Emery declined to say whether the village would continue to pursue that request.

Meanwhile, the larger question of who has jurisdiction over the 273-acre campus will continue in later court proceedings.

COD attorney Ken Florey said briefings in the case could be filed late next month. Emery said Sheen indicated it would be better to handle the question of jurisdiction after the dispute over occupancy of the four buildings is resolved.

Time is of the essence for building inspections and occupancy permits: the college has been planning to have the buildings open on Aug. 22, the first day of classes.

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