Students to help build homes on land District 211 sold to developer

Students in Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211’s Building Construction program soon will benefit from the district’s 2020 sale of 62 acres in Schaumburg to a housing developer.

The 149-lot Summit Grove development will provide three home sites where the construction students will gain real-world experience over the next three years.

The program is partnering directly with Nitti Development LLC and BuilderEDU to create a practical curriculum intended not only to benefit District 211 students over the next three school years but possibly prove influential on later partnerships with other districts.

A Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211 student works on this year’s homebuilding project in Elgin through the district's Building Construction program. Courtesy of Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211

The district’s board of education was unanimous in its approval and praise of the partnership.

“I can’t support and tout this program highly enough,” board member Pete Dombrowski said.

His only questions were to ensure that stringent background checks would be conducted on anyone interacting with the District 211 students.

Board member Steve Rosenblum said he appreciates Nitti following through on discussions that were had when the firm was considering purchasing the land the district had held as a potential school site for about 50 years.

“I think this is a great opportunity, as has been mentioned, to collaborate with them and partner with them for the benefit of our students and the community,” he said.

While BuilderEDU will provide the program curriculum to the district at no expense for the next 10 years, Nitti will fund and provide all materials and construction personnel needed for students to build one house per year.

  The 149-lot Summit Grove neighborhood in Schaumburg will provide a learning experience for students in Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211’s Building Construction program on up to three houses there over the next three school years. Nitti Development bought the land from the district in 2020. John Starks/

With Nitti reaching the halfway point on construction of the Summit Grove subdivision this year, there’s a provision in the agreement that the third year of the program could be located at a different site still within the boundaries of District 211.

“It’s a great program and it just got a lot better,” board member Tim McGowan said. “With the disappearing of trade schools, I think it’s essential that the kids have real-world experience versus being taught something. Theory and application are usually two different things in any field, so having a professional is going to elevate the program a lot.”

Board President Anna Klimkowicz thanked Nitti Development for being open to the program’s opportunities.

“We do really appreciate the partnership,” she said. “I think it’s amazing. It benefits our students, it benefits our community, and I think you and your employees will get a lot of benefit out of being with our students because everyone is always learning.”

The district received $17.7 million from Nitti in the 2020 land sale. The money was earmarked for projects that would directly benefit students, such as public address system and auditorium improvements, cooling of applied technology areas, and similar upgrades at all five high schools.

The site long reserved for a sixth school that was never built is bordered by Summit Drive to the west, Plum Grove Road to the east, Wise Road to the south and existing houses extending from Weathersfield Way to the north.

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