Elk Grove Elementary District 59 building plans advance despite opposition
A plan to build a new Elk Grove Township Elementary School District 59 administration building is facing more pushback in the eleventh hour.
Elk Grove Village residents are protesting the proposed 40,000-square-foot facility at 1001 Leicester Road, where the former Lively Junior High was located. They criticized the location, saying the building -- which includes a commissary where food will be prepared and shipped daily to each school -- will add too much traffic to the neighborhood. They also cited loss of green space on land that was being used for soccer fields.
Meanwhile, a school board member is questioning a proposal to issue $20 million in bonds to help pay for the building.
Michael Kaveney, who lives about one block from the site, said Wednesday he had distributed flyers to nearby residents in advance of a plan commission meeting in an effort to organize opposition.
"I was just concerned about this because it's a commercial-industrial facility going into a residential area," he said.
Despite the opposition, the Elk Grove plan commission voted Monday to recommend the project be approved in the area zoned for single-family homes. The plans will now be considered by the Elk Grove Village board of trustees.
The school district has been mulling plans for the site for nearly two years. Initially, the school district estimated the building would cost about $12 million, but the cost later increased to about $16 million. Officials planned to pay for the project through the $5 million sale of its current administration office in Arlington Heights and reserve funds.
Now the district is considering issuing $20 million in bonds in part to help pay for the construction. Other uses of the money would include renovations at Devonshire Elementary School and Friendship Junior High, as well as other capital improvement projects.
The school board is expected to vote on the bond issue July 10.
School board member Tim Burns criticized the bond proposal in an interview Wednesday.
"The issue with the $20 million is never once were bonds discussed as a method to finance the administration building," Burns said. "It's strange that the $20 million came up right after the (April) election."
School board President Barbara Somogyi in an interview Wednesday said the bond issue is still open for discussion. She also said the school district had asked residents for feedback regarding the proposed location, hosting a meeting for nearby residents. She was unaware of organized opposition.
"No one has come to me and said their feelings one way or another," she said.