Township might want to buy Dist. 59 admin building

Updated 2/9/2016 2:38 PM
  • Officials from an unnamed township have interest in Elk Grove District 59's administration center at 2123 S. Arlington Heights Road in Arlington Heights.

      Officials from an unnamed township have interest in Elk Grove District 59's administration center at 2123 S. Arlington Heights Road in Arlington Heights. Christopher Placek | Staff Photographer, November 2015

Officials from an unnamed township government have expressed interest in purchasing the Elk Grove School District 59 administration building, district officials said Monday.

District 59 brass recently gave a tour of the district's 35,000-square-foot building at 2123 S. Arlington Heights Road in Arlington Heights to the township officials, who asked for confidentiality since they had not yet brought the issue to their board of trustees, according to Superintendent Art Fessler.

"I had a conversation (with them) about their level of interest," Fessler said. "It sounded very, very positive."

District 59 for the last several months has been exploring whether to sell or build on properties the district owns. The school board was scheduled to vote Monday night on what to do with the properties, but delayed consideration in light of the recent interest from the township.

District 59's headquarters is less than a half-mile away from Elk Grove Township's administrative building at 2400 S. Arlington Heights Road. Both governmental agencies cover roughly the same geographic area, including parts of Elk Grove Village, Arlington Heights, Des Plaines and Mount Prospect.

Elk Grove Township officials couldn't be reached for comment late Monday.

Fessler and school board member Tim Burns got into a verbal spat during the meeting, with Burns suggesting that not revealing the name of the township was deviating from transparency.

"It seems like backroom deals at the worst," Burns said.

"That's totally inappropriate," Fessler responded.

"That's going to be the perception," said Burns, who planned to send the district a Freedom of Information Act request for building visitors logs to see who has come to tour the building.

At the school board's next meeting Feb. 22, the board will vote "yes" or "no" on three options: Renovate the existing administration building and build a connected one-story professional development center on the neighboring former Wellington banquets site; build a new administration center on the Wellington site and sell the property where the current administration building is; or sell those properties and build on a portion of the old Lively school site on Leicester Road in Elk Grove Village.

Fessler said the township's interest in the building would fall in line with the second option.

Elk Grove Park District officials have previously said they would like to see the Lively site remain as open space.

And Arlington Heights village officials have said they favor commercial and residential development of the properties on Arlington Heights Road.

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