District 220 might raze house to improve traffic at Dundee Road schools
Barrington Area Unit District 220 is exploring the idea of demolishing a house it bought from a fire district, then using the Dundee Road property for improving traffic flow and parking at two adjacent schools.
District 220 purchased the roughly 1-acre site with a vacant house at 36 E. Dundee Road from the Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District. The $500,000 deal was struck this year after Cook County rejected a controversial plan to build a new fire station on the site between Barrington Middle School-Prairie Campus and District 220's early learning center.
Assistant Superintendent of Business Services David Bein said the first move would be to demolish the single-family house. He said preliminary estimates indicate the demolition would cost $60,000.
"We're trying to keep that property safe and maintained," Bein said during a recent District 220 facilities committee meeting.
Bein said getting rid of the house would prevent having a potential hazard on district-owned property and eliminate the maintenance expenses. District 220 Superintendent Brian Harris said he favors eliminating the home.
"It's bit of en eyesore, too," Harris added. "It's been for a while."
Bein said competitive bids could be sought in October from companies interested in handling the potential demolition, with the work targeted for November. The school board would have to approve seeking the bids for the demolition.
It could cost about $500,000 to use the former fire district land for a project to improve the parking and traffic flow at the middle school and early learning center, Bein said.
In March, Cook County Board commissioners on the zoning and building committee voted 14-0 against granting a special-use permit and zoning variances the fire district needed to build the station between the schools. District 220 leaders and parents objected to the firehouse proposal.
Harris recommended that District 220 pursue having the land annexed into Barrington so it can be within village limits like the two schools.
District 220 officials also plan to address have another property issue at Tuesday night's school board meeting.
Board members are to consider a resolution that would authorize a sale through sealed bids of the district's former central office at 310 E. James St. in Barrington. The building is tucked in an area with a mix of houses and businesses.
District 220's new administrative center is in the renovated 20,000-square-foot former PepsiCo Inc. building at 515 W. Main St. across from Barrington High School.