Build or sell? Elk Grove District 59 seeks public input

 
 
Updated 11/29/2015 4:39 PM
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  • Under District 59's Scenario 1, plans call for renovation of the existing administration center, and construction of a connected professional development center.

    Under District 59's Scenario 1, plans call for renovation of the existing administration center, and construction of a connected professional development center. Courtesy of Elk Grove Township District 59

  • Under District 59's Scenario 2, plans call for construction of a new administration center on the former Wellington restaurant site, and selling the current administration center.

    Under District 59's Scenario 2, plans call for construction of a new administration center on the former Wellington restaurant site, and selling the current administration center. Courtesy of Elk Grove Township District 59

  • Under District 59's Scenario 3, plans call for construction of a new administration center at 999 Leicester Road in Elk Grove Village, while properties the district owns on Arlington Heights Road would be sold.

    Under District 59's Scenario 3, plans call for construction of a new administration center at 999 Leicester Road in Elk Grove Village, while properties the district owns on Arlington Heights Road would be sold. Courtesy of Elk Grove Township District 59

Residents and parents served by Elk Grove Township Elementary School District 59 will soon get to have their say on proposals to either develop or sell properties the district owns, including the sites of the former Wellington restaurant and Lively Junior High.

Two community forums are scheduled next week for district officials to gather public feedback on what should become of the properties, as the district looks to expand the size of its administrative offices to include more space for teacher professional development training.

The meetings are scheduled for Monday, Dec. 7, at Grove Junior High School, 777 W. Elk Grove Blvd. in Elk Grove Village, and Wednesday, Dec. 9, at the district's administration center, 2123 S. Arlington Heights Road in Arlington Heights. Both forums begin at 7 p.m.

It's possible the district could hold another listening session in January.

The district also plans to put a survey on its website to gather additional comment.

Officials want to know the public's level of support for three scenarios:

• Renovate the existing administration offices and build a connected professional development center on a portion of the neighboring Wellington property at 2121 S. Arlington Heights Road. Most of the Wellington property wouldn't be developed, but the parking lot would be resurfaced and green space added.

• Build a new administration center where the Wellington used to be, and sell the property where the current administration building is.

• Sell both properties on Arlington Heights Road, and use proceeds to build a new administration center on a portion of the old Lively school site at 999 Leicester Road, adjacent to the Elk Grove Park District Pavilion.

Superintendent Art Fessler said construction costs would be funded by using the district's reserve funds, which currently sit at $123 million.

The district has released renderings of each scenario showing how the buildings would be laid out.

If a new administration center is built on the Lively site, it would only take up the western portion of the 8 acres, and leave usable green space for school and park district programs, said Tony Rossi, District 59's executive director of facilities and operations.

The school district allows the park district free use of the vacant property under terms of a 2001 intergovernmental agreement reached after Lively Junior High School was demolished.

Park district officials have expressed a desire for the land to remain as open space, and even may be interested in buying the land.

Meanwhile, Arlington Heights village officials have told District 59 they favor commercial and residential development of the properties on Arlington Heights Road.

School board members are expected to review feedback from the surveys and listening sessions during board meetings Dec. 14 and Jan. 11, before making decisions on selling or developing any of the properties Jan. 25, according to a tentative schedule released by the district.

A final board vote is scheduled for Feb. 11.

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