Special Oak Brook Board meeting eyes sale of Sports Core land to District 53
This is an aerial view showing the most likely location for the building of a new school by Butler Elementary District 53 on the Sports Core property owned by the village of Oak Brook. | Rendering courtesy of Butler Elementary District 53
Updated: February 4, 2013 1:15AM
OAK BROOK — The question of a new school on Sports Core property is getting real.
And a special Oak Brook Village Board meeting at 7 p.m. Monday could go a long way in determining the answer to that question.
Resident feedback at the meeting will be considered by the Village Board before it decides if it wants to pursue an April 9 referendum seeking approval from Oak Brook voters to sell Sports Core property to Butler Elementary District 53 for the building of a new school.
“We’re expecting quite a bit of discussion on this,” Village Manager Dave Niemeyer.
District 53 is interested in purchasing about eight acres of the 285-acre Sports Core to use as a site for new kindergarten to eighth-grade school. The district houses students at Butler Junior High and Brook Forest Elementary. The District 53 Board is interested in selling those properties.
The District 53 Board is interested in an April 9 referendum seeking approval from voters living in the district for the sale of $15 million in bonds to help fund the project. However, that referendum would become a moot point without a referendum approved for sale of the property to District 53.
About a third of Oak Brook residents live outside of District 53 boundaries.
“We know that people who don’t live in our district will want to know why they should support this,” School Board President Alan Hanzlik said. “We believe there are advantages for everyone because the village would have additional money from the sale of the property to put into improvements at the Sports Core. We would have an agreement to co-share resources there with the village, which would cut down on their expenses for maintenance.”
The Sports Core is on property that was purchased in 1977 by Oak Brook from Paul Butler. The area includes an 18-hole golf course, Bath and Tennis Club, polo fields, and athletic fields. Hanzlik said a provision exists for the village to sell up to 80 acres of Sports Core property if the move is approved by referendum.
Sports Core property previously was sold to the Oak Brook Public Library, DuPage County Forest Preserve District and to developers for the construction of two homes along 31st Street, Village Manager Dave Niemeyer said.
Oak Brook voters approved a referendum in 1977 for the purchase of bonds so that the village could buy the Sports Core property from Butler for $11 million. The deed included a stipulation for a limited sale of property, Niemeyer said.
Former Village President Karen Bushy is against the sale of Sports Core property to District 53, saying the land should remain open. Attempts to contact the Butler family have been unsuccessful.