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updated: 8/1/2013 4:41 PM

Dist. 300 board approves sale of Oak Ridge property

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  • Community Unit District 300 is searching for a more permanent home for Oak Ridge, its alternative school.

      Community Unit District 300 is searching for a more permanent home for Oak Ridge, its alternative school.
    Brian Hill | Staff Photographer


Community Unit District 300 has a buyer for the Oak Ridge School property but won't move students to a new location until the summer of 2015.

"That is to allow the board and the district plenty of opportunity to research options for a good long-term fit for that school," said Allison Strupeck, director of communication services.

District 300 put the 7.2-acre Carpentersville property on the market in June and school board members approved the sale this week to Children's Home and Aid, a leading child and family service agency that has locations across the state.

The $750,000 offer was the only one the district received, according to Strupeck.

The deal also includes property acquisition for the district. Children's Home and Aid has a 1-acre parcel with a 6,000-square-foot building next to Parkview Elementary School in Carpentersville. It is worth about $165,000, according to District 300 Chief Financial Officer Susan Harkin, but needs to be rezoned by the village for the district to use it.

Harkin said administrators haven't had extensive discussions about how the property adjacent to Parkview will be used because neither the sale nor the zoning change is final.

Oak Ridge School is an alternative program for students with behavioral problems and those in need of extra support services. It opened in 1998 at the corner of Lake Marian and Oak Ridge roads in temporary trailers. The site formerly held Oak Ridge Elementary School, which was demolished in the early 1990s after years of vacancy and a fall into disrepair.

News reports from the time indicate the building had several code violations and village officials wanted it torn down because it had become an eyesore in the neighborhood.

Strupeck said the district has been contemplating a new location for Oak Ridge students for almost a decade. The move will allow the alternative program to expand and create a better learning environment for students, who don't have a gymnasium, adequate space for science labs or enough meeting rooms. District officials have not decided whether to purchase a new piece of property or use existing space.

Children's Home and Aid has served Carpentersville area families from the Tom Thumb Community Child Care Center since the 1970s. Communications director Jassen Strokosch said the intent is to build a new early childhood center on the Oak Ridge property. That, too, depends on village zoning approval.

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