District 211 to seek appraisal of vacant Schaumburg site
Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211 board members hope an evaluation and appraisal of the 60 acres of vacant land the district owns in a Schaumburg neighborhood will help them further narrow the options for the site's future use.
The school board on Thursday directed Superintendent Dan Cates to commission such a study with the expectation of hearing the results by the May 25 board meeting.
District officials had previously put more than 1,400 suggestions made through a community questionnaire into four general categories: leave it undeveloped, build a district facility, sell it to a developer, or lease it.
The land is between Summit Drive and Plum Grove Road, south of Weathersfield Way and north of Wise Road.
The district bought the land more than 45 years ago for a high school that was never built.
The village of Schaumburg's comprehensive land-use plan has long suggested residential development as the best use of the empty site.
District 211 board President Mucia Burke acknowledged that the sale of the land to a developer would be the easiest option for the district to handle internally, but the board has not yet determined that to be the best option.
Board members Mike Scharringhausen and Anna Klimkowicz expressed a strong desire to keep a significant amount of it open space.
But Scharringhausen was the first to express interest in an evaluation of the site, because he was skeptical of reports he'd heard that portions of the former farmland are unbuildable. He believes that whatever drainage problems appear to exist on the site can be fixed.
Board member Pete Dombrowski advocated that a committee be established to weigh particular options for the site -- including sports fields, an educational horticultural use or house construction -- once the evaluation and appraisal are complete.
One suggestion was that even if the land is sold to a developer, some of the lots could be reserved for the district's construction students to build houses of their own on.
In a letter to the district, Schaumburg Village Manager Brian Townsend wrote that the village would be open to single-family homes or recreational, educational or other public uses, but would not support commercial uses or multifamily housing.