Pleviak School could have new uses, Dist. 41 officials say

Updated 8/12/2013 9:04 PM

The new school year will be the last for Lake Villa's J.J. Pleviak Elementary School, but the 103-year-old facility isn't headed for demolition, District 41 officials said Monday.

"The building will be put to use, some community use," Superintendent John Van Pelt said during the school board's meeting at Palombi Middle School.


Those uses haven't yet been determined.

"That process is ongoing," Van Pelt said.

Van Pelt has spoken with Lake Villa Township Supervisor Dan Venturi about the future of the site. Venturi attended the meeting and said his board is concerned about the cost of taking over the school and running programs there.

Even so, Venturi called the prospect of a partnership "a very exciting opportunity." He talked about day care for young children or older adults and other possible uses.

"It seems like there's a lot of opportunity there," Venturi said.

The school board voted in June to close Pleviak, which stands at the corner of Route 83 and Grand Avenue, at the end of the 2013-14 term.

Classes begin Wednesday, Aug. 21.

Originally known as Central School, the facility was built in 1910. It was renamed after a former teacher and principal in 1973.

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Financial concerns and decreasing enrollment were the key factors behind the decision. Three other elementary schools -- B.J. Hooper, William L. Thompson and Olive C. Martin -- will remain open. A grade-level realignment has been proposed as officials work to determine where kids who would have attended Pleviak will attend classes.

Palombi Middle isn't affected.

Officials on Monday acknowledged there has been some concern in the community that the school would be demolished. That isn't the plan, they said.

Some board members said they want to include information about Pleviak's future in the next electronic newsletter, which is scheduled to be released Friday.

Board member Darla Vanderwall said she wants to include the community in the planning process, and others agreed.

Board member Joanne Osmond said she has "a lot of great ideas" for the building.

"I truly think it's going to be well used," Osmond said, adding that the Lindenhurst Park District is also interested in the building.

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