Vacant building in Palatine will be leased for $1 to park district
The Palatine Park District will rent the second floor of a vacant building owned by the village of Palatine as part of changes to the before- and after-school program offered to students of Palatine Township School District 15.
The program, called CARE, has been a collaboration between District 15 and local park districts, which jointly provided staffing and supplies, and shared profits. Parents pay a fee to enroll their kids.
Under new agreements for the 2021-22 school year, the Palatine, Rolling Meadows and Hoffman Estates park districts will run the program in the schools in their respective areas, District 15 spokeswoman Becca Latham said. The park districts will provide staffing and supplies and will rent classroom space from the school district, keeping the program's profits.
In Palatine, that also means the park district needed to find office space -- until now provided by the district at its administrative building -- for the program, Palatine Park District Executive Director Mike Clark said.
That office space will be the second floor of the building at 150 W. Wilson St. in Palatine, which served as a temporary village hall a few years ago and recently as an election voting site on the first floor.
Clark credited Village Manager Reid Ottesen for agreeing to lease the space to the park district for one year at a nominal $1. The park district will be responsible for maintenance and some needed upgrades, such as to the elevator.
"It was a good, viable option to at least have that for the first year of running the program," Clark said. "If and when we have to find new office space somewhere else, this buys me time for one year."
The park district board gave the green light to the lease agreement with the village Tuesday. "I am really happy with this solution," park district Commissioner Jay Cozza said.
About 400 students attend the CARE program, Clark said, although the numbers fluctuated greatly during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under the new agreement with District 15, the Palatine Park District will provide the program at 10 schools and will rent classroom space at $53 daily per school.
Latham called the rate "a tremendous discount." "The allocation of the surplus proceeds was inconsistently administered in the past -- the new agreement clarifies terms and creates a win/win for everyone," she said.
The Palatine Park District has budgeted $1,498,000 to offer the program in 2021-22 and expects to break even or make a small profit, Clark said.
District 15 gave the park district ample notice in seeking the new arrangement, which the park district was OK with, Clark said.
"With the new administration," Clark said, referring to Superintendent Laurie Heinz, who started the job in July 2019, "they informed me that they were going to be looking at each and every one of their intergovernmental cooperative agreements."
Latham said it's a best practice to review agreements annually.
"We work collaboratively to support the endeavors of our community organizations, as it relates to before- and after-school care, to ensure families have access to care for their children within our schools," she said. "That mindset has not changed."