Dist. 59 planning to build on former Lively land
Elk Grove Township Elementary School District 59 plans to build a new two-story administration center on a portion of land that once contained Lively Junior High School in Elk Grove Village.
The school board voted 4-3 Monday night to pursue construction of new administrative offices, a professional development center and a warehouse at 999 Leicester Road, just west of the Elk Grove Park District's Pavilion.
To help fund the estimated $8 million to $11 million construction costs, the district plans to sell two properties it owns: its current two-story administration building at 2123 S. Arlington Heights Road in Arlington Heights, and the neighboring vacant property at 2121 S. Arlington Heights Road that once contained Wellington banquets.
Officials believe a sale could fetch at least $4 million, since that's what the properties were appraised for. They plan to pay for the remaining $4 million or more in costs using the district's reserve funds, which currently sit at $123 million. The plan was the least expensive option of three considered by the school board over the last six months.
"I think the Lively property is the most economical for our district," said board member Barbara Somogyi. "And the more money we can save in our budgetary processes, the more money will be there when we need it for student services."
Somogyi, along with board members Karen Osmanski, Mardell Schumacher and Tim Burns, voted in favor of the proposal. Board members Sharon Roberts, Janice Krinsky and Sunil Bhave favored a proposal to build a new administration center on the Wellington site and sell the property where the current administration building is. But that proposal failed to get enough support on a 4-3 vote.
The cost of that plan would have been as much as $8 million, but supporters argued keeping district offices in a centralized location of the school district would benefit staff members who have to travel there for meetings and training. District 59 includes parts of Elk Grove Village, Arlington Heights, Des Plaines and Mount Prospect.
The board didn't take a vote on another option the district's administration presented: Renovate the existing two-story administration center and build a connected one-story professional development center on a portion of the neighboring property. Costs were estimated at $5 million.
The proposed 30,000-square-foot building on the Lively site is expected to take up one-third on the eight acres the district owns. The remainder would still be available for park and school district programs, and both entities could partner to construct a track and maintain soccer fields, officials say.
The park district has been able to use the property for free under terms of a 2001 intergovernmental agreement.
Burns, the tiebreaking vote, said he may consider changing his vote if the track and soccer fields aren't part of the deal.
The board will take a vote March 14 to put the properties up for sale. Five "yes" votes are required under the law. If final approvals are granted, the new Lively building is targeted for opening in the fall of 2017.