October 19, 2021

USB CF

The Education People

Neighbors oppose sale of former school in Downers Grove

Downers Grove Elementary District 58 is shifting ahead with designs to market a 93-yr-aged university constructing, inspite of opposition from neighbors.

The district is in search of a least bid of $3.8 million for Longfellow Middle, which sits on much more than 3 wooded acres at 1435 Prairie Ave. Bids will be opened June 24, and the university board is envisioned to vote July 8 on the sale.

Longfellow Centre is a previous elementary school that was transformed into place of work house in the 1980s. It currently properties the district’s office of curriculum, know-how and instruction, as effectively as upkeep services.

District officials say the setting up is basically as well expensive to preserve.

“District 58 has roughly $245 million of facility requirements that should be dealt with,” Superintendent Kevin Russell said in an e-mail. “The district placed a short term roof on the Longfellow Center in 2012 that was expected to very last 10 yrs. If the district diverts money to Longfellow, it would be at the expense of our 13 colleges.”

District 58 serves approximately 5,200 students from preschool as a result of eighth grade at 11 elementary educational facilities and two middle faculties.

If the sale of Longfellow is permitted, the district designs to renovate and expand an administrative making at 1860 63rd St. to consider in servicing services. Some of the place of work employees would relocate to an undetermined rented space.

“They just never have a approach which is cohesive and appears out extended sufficient,” said Joe Leo, a previous university board member who served on the board from 2004 to 2009.

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Leo is between the neighbors of Longfellow who are questioning the district’s selection to provide the making.

“In excess of a 25-year time period, the district is going to commit a large amount far more funds to hire facility areas as a substitute of just executing a renovation,” Leo reported.

Longfellow is the very same age as Whittier Elementary University and the Tivoli Theatre. Leo claims all a few were being developed by the similar architectural organization of Van Gurten and Van Gurten.

He says Downers Grove would likely eliminate some of its historic character if Longfellow is demolished.

“You can find a good deal of record concerning the making,” Leo explained.

He also says the making is “in the middle of a neighborhood.”

The Longfellow property is zoned for 12 residential a lot. But a new proprietor could request authorization from the village to rezone the land.

        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        

 

Leo said inhabitants are concerned about the destiny of almost 40 trees on the home. He and other neighbors have questioned the Downers Grove Park District and Forest Maintain District of DuPage County to purchase the land. But Leo stated they had been instructed the minimum asking price is too superior.

Some opponents of the Longfellow sale say the district’s determination was produced in haste, but the superintendent counters that idea.

“The conclusion to market Longfellow has been a extended-reviewed product by the Board of Training and group-based committees advising the Board,” Russell reported. “All those groups, such as the Fiscal Advisory Committee among the some others, have all been in favor of the sale of the assets.”