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updated: 6/20/2012 12:22 PM

COD again changes campus expansion plan

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  • College of DuPage has removed controversial components of a planned expansion of its Glen Ellyn campus before the county board takes a final vote on the proposal.

      College of DuPage has removed controversial components of a planned expansion of its Glen Ellyn campus before the county board takes a final vote on the proposal.
    Daily Herald file photo

 
 

For the second time in a month, a proposed expansion of College of DuPage's Glen Ellyn campus has been scaled back to appease neighbors.

On Tuesday, COD officials removed a water tower, a water purification plant and two buildings from the planned development application that the college filed with the county for its 273-acre campus.

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"Removal of these items is the byproduct of a college that has listened -- that has heard the concerns of its neighbors," COD attorney Steve Ruffalo said.

Now COD's long-range vision for structures and improvements is on the verge of getting final approval from the DuPage County Board.

On Tuesday, the plan received unanimous support from the county board's development committee. The full board could take its vote as early as next week.

Ruffalo said the plan being reviewed by the county is "dramatically" different from the original proposal.

For example, the college last month agreed to remove four buildings that were heavily criticized by neighbors because of the structures' proximity to nearby homes.

As part of the latest plan, three large classroom buildings no longer are being proposed for the west side of the campus. Instead, the college wants to construct a single 70,000-square-foot building at that location. The three-story structure would have classrooms and staff offices.

In fact, most of the plan simply reflects what the campus already looks like. It does show planned renovations to four existing buildings, including the Student Resource Center.

"The College of DuPage prides itself on being a good neighbor," COD President Robert Breuder said. "We understand the importance of being integral to our community -- to mirror the interests of the community and not to create an environment that in any way is dysfunctional."

DuPage officials are reviewing the plan because of a recent agreement that transferred regulatory control -- including stormwater, building and zoning -- from Glen Ellyn to the county. The county accepted oversight responsibilities to end a legal battle between COD and Glen Ellyn in which the college argued it wasn't under the village's jurisdiction.

While Glen Ellyn officials joined residents in expressing concerns about the previous versions of COD's plan, on Tuesday there was almost no criticism voiced about the revised plan.

Michele Stegall, a village planner with Glen Ellyn, said she was "surprised and very pleased" to see that COD had scaled back its plan.

If COD has any proposals for future buildings or improvements not in the plan, the college must go through the county's approval process for each project.

In the meantime, Breuder said COD officials are planning to meet with neighbors in the fall and spring to give them updates about the college's future plans.

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