Barrington Countryside fire district buying property near Prairie Middle School
The house nestled between Barrington Middle School's Prairie Campus and the Barrington Area Unit School District 220 Early Learning Center on Dundee Road could soon be turned into a small fire station, according to Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District officials.
Fire Chief James Kreher said the district is in the process of closing on the house and he expects the sale could be completed fairly soon.
"It's a real good spot there for a firehouse," Kreher said. "That spot there would really help us out with the east end of our district and help on our auto aid calls with the village of Barrington and Palatine Rural Fire Protection District."
Representatives from the fire district and District 220 have met a few times since September to talk about how the two can work together so their facilities can coexist and maybe even collaborate in the future.
Board of Education President Brian Battle said Tuesday that talks between the two sides have been constructive and have mitigated several of the school district's concerns about the sale.
Kreher said one of the things they've discussed is working together to make it easier for the school district to move their buses around on the property. There are about 1,500 students between Prairie Middle and the Early Learning Center, making the busing operation there the second largest in the district.
"If we work together on things then they don't have to buy property to turn around their buses on," Kreher said. "We are going to look at our property and see if we can accommodate them and where."
Kreher said he doesn't know yet how exactly they'll change the property, if at all. He said options range from leaving the house there and modifying the garage so it can house a fire truck or two, or leveling the structures and building new ones.
It is important that whatever they choose, the station fits in with the surrounding neighborhood, he said.
"We want to keep everybody happy over there," Kreher said.