Dist. 15, park district might swap land for new school

  • Falcon Park in Palatine has a rec center that opened in 2010.

      Falcon Park in Palatine has a rec center that opened in 2010. JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

 

By Erin Hegarty

In a bid to acquire land for a new elementary school in Palatine Township Elementary District 15's northeast corner, the school district is in talks with the Palatine Park District to swap the district's oldest school for Falcon Park, Superintendent Scott Thompson said Wednesday night.

The swap would be part of preliminary plans District 15 is considering for the construction of two new schools, a K-5 elementary school in the northeast corner of the district and a sixth- through eighth-grade middle school off Ela Road in Inverness.

District 15 already owns the 40-acre property where officials are considering building the middle school.

A district facilities plan committee in April recommended the district consider adding the new schools and getting rid of the district's oldest school, Gray M. Sanborn Elementary School, 101 N. Oak St. in Palatine.

The plan committee says the new schools, and a switch to a sixth- through eighth-grade middle school model, would allow space for full-day kindergarten and save money on busing.

Thompson says the school district and the park district are talking, the two parties are waiting for appraisals on both properties before they move forward.

"Nothing is etched in stone," Thompson said.

Should the project be approved, Thompson said the district would likely use the already existing Falcon Park Recreation Center for the school.

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He added that without the land swap, there really is no available property to build on in that area of the district.

The elementary school would serve about 1,200 students, the facilities plan committee reported in April.

The proposal, which voters would have to approve through a referendum, would require the district rearrange school attendance boundaries and bus schedules.

Thompson said it is still unclear when the district would ask for voter approval.

The board would have to pass a resolution no later than the August board meeting for a referendum to be on the November ballot.

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