Palatine District 15 ends talks of new school in shopping center
Palatine Township Elementary District 15 board members voted unanimously Wednesday to terminate a purchase agreement for part of a Palatine shopping center, ending long-debated plans to build a new school there.
The board has spent more than two years considering a plan to locate the district's 21st school at the Park Place shopping center, on the southwest corner of Rand and Dundee roads. After extensions of the agreement to further review the plan and needs for a new school, the board was facing a Feb. 15 deadline to either call off the deal or seek another extension.
"I think the option that's going to be presented to us is going to be one that doesn't require Park Place," board member Zubair Khan said. "I can't imagine Park Place being in the final plan of anything."
Board President Lisa Szczupaj agreed.
"There hasn't been a scenario with Park Place that makes any sense at all in a very long time," she said.
The plan called for vacant space in the shopping center to be renovated into a school for kindergarten through sixth-grade students. But the district hasn't determined a new school is necessary at this time.
"If we needed a 21st school, would that be the place we would want to put it?" Superintendent Laurie Heinz said.
"I like the location, I just don't like that parcel -- in a strip mall, in a parking lot that's adjacent to a Walmart," she added. "It is nothing like any of our other schools."
Szczupaj said there are other properties available to the district that would be "significant improvements" over Park Place.
"There are other options that we know could definitely work," she said.