District 15 board still pondering idea of school at Palatine mall
Palatine Township Elementary District 15 board members have agreed to take additional time before deciding on a proposal to open a school in a vacant mall space.
Board members since April 2019 have been considering a revised plan for a school in the Park Place shopping center opposite a Walmart, southeast of Dundee and Rand roads in Palatine. The district dropped an initial proposal for Park Place in November 2018.
Wednesday night, board members agreed to seek a 120-day extension for a due diligence period from Park Place's ownership. Earlier this year, the district received a 90-day extension.
Board member Michael Smolka said he'd want to know if a 21st school is deemed necessary in the district's northeast section before making a final decision. That information could come to the board by June in an enrollment projection report from RSP & Associates of Overland Park, Kansas, for a study of possible boundary changes.
"I just would hate to lose that, if that's the option that RSP comes back with for us," Smolka said.
Under a tentative deal unveiled last year, a shuttered Whole Foods Market and other adjacent space totaling about 80,000 square feet would be renovated to create up to 32 classrooms for kindergarten through sixth grade.
Park Place's owner would build four retail buildings on the land closest to Rand as part of the proposal, Palatine officials said. The former T.J. Maxx/Home Goods portion of the plaza would be demolished.
Stuckey Construction Co. of Waukegan would buy the space for about $4.1 million and spend $13.8 million more renovating it, district officials said. District 15 would lease the building with an option to buy it within seven years.
District 15 board President Lisa Szczupaj said the Park Place has been viewed as a "very budget friendly" proposal for a new school.