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updated: 4/9/2013 3:36 PM

District 41 delays land acquisition decision

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The Glen Ellyn Elementary District 41 school board has tabled a motion to offer Wheaton College money for land where the district hopes to build a new junior high school.

The board voted unanimously Monday to table discussion of a resolution authorizing Superintendent Ann Riebock to make a formal offer to the college for its land at 1825 College Ave. on the border of Glen Ellyn and Wheaton.

One board member suggested delaying a vote due to the complexity of the issue and to see what the priorities of the community are, district spokeswoman Julie Worthen said.

The district has been eyeing the college's 15-acre "east campus" to build a school in an effort to reduce overcrowding at its five existing schools. But the college maintains the land isn't for sale.

If the board had voted to make a formal offer, a preliminary timeline indicated it was to consider a resolution at its next meeting to pursue eminent domain proceedings to acquire the land.

But that is now also on hold, Worthen said.

The property is used by Wheaton College for faculty art studios, a maintenance workshop, warehouse storage for library archives and equipment, and the Community School of the Arts. Not-for-profit Christian ministries also lease some of the space from the college. College officials say future use of the land could include undergraduate and graduate academic use, athletic facilities and student housing.

District officials have said after searching for land for a new school, the Wheaton College property was deemed to be the only appropriate site.

The board could continue its discussion on district facilities as early as its next meeting April 22.

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