Park district deserves deed to Hubble

Updated 3/17/2011 4:08 PM

Before the real estate bubble burst, the Wheaton Warrenville Unit District 200 board thought it might recover over $20 million through sale of the Hubble School site to any one of a number of developers and contribute to the cost of building the new middle school in Warrenville.

Alas, the bubble burst. I lost half of my investments. The board now hopes by auction to obtain a minimum of $10 million for the 8 acres of buildable land. Another $2-million would be required to clear the land of the building. I've been told that it is doubtful that any developer will bid.


Wheaton Central High School (alias Hubble) was built in 1928 at the edge of a swamp because the land was cheap. Over the years, several additions were made and today Hubble consists of 4 gymnasiums, 2 auditoriums and many classrooms in addition to a regulation track, football field and several ball fields. These facilities are now used by the Wheaton Park District for over 95,000 youngsters each year in addition to its adult education programs. To replicate these facilities would cost the community a minimum of $75 million if land were available, which it is not.

Simply stated, Hubble is a community asset paid for by the entire Wheaton community and owned by the entire community, not simply District 200. For the board to now singularly act and dispose of this community asset is legal but blatantly wrong, as I am certain every board member now feels in their heart of hearts.

Thus, I urge board members to maximize their dedication to serving the public and act on what each member knows in their heart is right and find a way to enable transfer and ownership of this community asset to another community entity, the Wheaton Park District.

Donald R. Shaner