Elgin council OKs plan to lease land to charter school
Elgin City Council members approved a plan to lease land at $1 per year to a group that wants to open a charter school for elementary and middle school students.
The nonprofit Elgin Math and Science Academy would open in fall 2018 at 1600 Dundee. Ave. -- on the site of the former Fox River Country Day School -- with 200 students in kindergarten through third grade. It would gradually expand to 450 students through eighth grade.
The Elgin Area School District U-46 board will conduct a hearing Monday night on the application for the charter school submitted by Elgin Charter School Initiative, and is expected to decide whether to approve it in April.
The charter group would lease six buildings and be responsible for repairs -- estimated at about $4 million -- and maintenance costs. The charter group plans to improve buildings in phases over five years.
Councilman John Prigge cast the lone "no" vote at Saturday's committee of the whole meeting. Councilman John Steffen, whose wife Kerry Kelly leads the charter school group, abstained.
The city owns 19 acres of the former Fox River Country Day School, which closed in 2011. The remaining 27 acres belong to the Kane County Forest Preserve District.