Long-vacant Immanuel Lutheran Church school in Des Plaines to be occupied again

 
 
Updated 5/24/2019 11:07 AM
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  • Little Bulgarian School has plans to buy the former Immanuel Lutheran Church school in Des Plaines and use it as an education center.

    Little Bulgarian School has plans to buy the former Immanuel Lutheran Church school in Des Plaines and use it as an education center. Courtesy of Des Plaines

It appears the long-vacant Immanuel Lutheran School on Lee Street in Des Plaines once again will be in use as an education center.

However, the classrooms won't be filled students and teachers affiliated with the church across the street. Instead, it will be occupied by the Little Bulgarian School, a nonprofit organization that provides educational and cultural services to the Slavic community.

The school is under contract to buy the building and two nearby homes from Immanuel Lutheran Church. The homes will be rented back to the church.

On Monday, the city council unanimously approved the plan and allowed it to provide 10 fewer parking spaces than normally required under city code. In addition to plans for a new parking lot, the school has an agreement with the church to use its parking lot when not in use.

Little Bulgarian School was founded in 2005 with six students. Since then, it has grown to serve about 600 children. Currently, it doesn't have a central location or office, and instead holds meetings at the Elk Grove Village Public Library and Elk Grove High School, and classes at Christus Victor Lutheran Church in Elk Grove and Christian Life College in Mount Prospect.

The school plans to transfer about 100 children from the Saturday school in Mount Prospect and 20 children from Elk Grove in the first year. By the second year, the school wants to expand the location to 200 children and start offering Sunday classes.

In addition to the weekend classes, the school expects to offer after-school programs, including math and science tutoring, folk dance classes and other activities.

The school also plans to offer adult evening classes for citizenship and English language learners, as well as folk dance classes.

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