Appraisals show deal possible for Butler schools
On the ballot
A pair of April 9 referendums would need to be approved to allow for the building of a new school. One, for all Oak Brook voters, seeks approval for the village to sell Sports Core property to District 53.
A second referendum will ask voters in District 53 to approve the sale of $15 million in bonds to help fund the building of a new school. About two-thirds of Oak Brook residents live in District 53.
Updated: March 22, 2013 6:16AM
OAK BROOK — The land two Butler District 53 schools sit on is worth $9.2 million.
That’s the finding of appraisals for the properties on which Butler Junior High and Brook Forest Elementary are located.
District 53 received appraisals of $5 million for the 10-plus acre site at Butler Junior High and $4.2 million for slightly less than 9 acres at Brook Forest.
The district plans to sell the property if voters approve a purchase of 8.5 acres of Sports Core property from the village of Oak Brook, on which the district would build a new school for students in kindergarten through eighth grades.
“Both appraisal numbers should allow a deal to be struck between the village and us, assuming both parties enter the negotiations with realistic expectations, have a desire to strike a deal based on fair market value per the appraisals, and want something positive to result for Oak Brook,” School Board President Alan Hanzlik said.
Oak Brook’s appraisal of the Sports Core property is $4.68 million, and includes both the 8.5 acres for a school site and an additional 2 acres for detention. Hanzlik said the board plans to negotiate with the village to lease the detention area, rather than paying full price up front for the two acres.
“At very least, we would hope the village would entertain an ability to lease these two acres with a right to pay off the detention pond in a period of years,” he said.
Hanzlik said he was not surprised by any of the three appraisals. District 53 and the village used two different firms for appraisals.
“School properties were appraised for sale three years from date of appraisal, as the school would not be able to sell these parcels until a new structure is built and current structures vacated,” he said. “The school appraisals anticipate the new buyer of the properties would demolish the school structures. This cost was reduced from the appraised value.”
Projected demolition costs are $707,787 for Butler Junior High and $518,585 for Brook Forest.
“At this time we are of the belief that it is best for the school to demolish both buildings while we control the property,” Hanzlik said. “This removes any possibility of the structures being used by others. Further, we would work with our architects and determine what could be salvaged from each school for use in a new structure.”