Oak Brook residents call for more information on property sale for school
About 150 residents showed up for a Dec. 10 village meeting about Butler Elementary District 53's interest in purchasing Sports Core property to build a new school. The Village Board meets Jan. 8 for further discussion and to make a decision. | Chuck Fie
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Pioneer Press regrets the error.
Updated: February 11, 2013 1:56AM
OAK BROOK — Residents asked for more information and to make the final decision at the polls during a special meeting Monday on buying land to build a new school on the Sports Core property.
The Butler Elementary District 53 officials invited Village Board members to present information and receive resident feedback before deciding if the village wants to pursue an April 9 referendum seeking approval to sell Sports Core property to District 53 to build a new school. The Village Board plans to meet again Jan. 8 to discuss the issue.
District 53 is interested in purchasing about eight acres of the 285-acre Sports Core to use as a site for new K-8 school. The district currently houses students at Butler Junior High and Brook Forest Elementary. The District 53 Board wants to sell those properties.
The District 53 Board seeks voter approval to sell $15 million in bonds to help fund the project. However, that referendum wouldn’t mean much without a second referendum approved by all village residents for the sale of park property to District 53.
Residents spoke out both for and against a new school being built on Sports Core property and most urged that voters make the decision by considering referenda proposals.
“We deserve the opportunity to vote,” said Jan Naborowski, a Butler 53 parent. “There’s nothing to lose by putting it on the ballot.”
Many who spoke Monday said they want to know more specifics of the school district’s plans, before voting on a referendum. They urged the Village Board to not rush into making a decision on a referendum.
For the village to legally sell Sports Core property to District 53, a petition to place a referendum on the April 9 ballot must be filed by Jan. 22. The referendum would need to be approved by voters, with a subsequent Village Board approval by a two-thirds vote for sale of the property.
The plan for the sale also would be reviewed by the Oak Brook Plan Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals, and ultimately approved by the Village Board, separate from approval of the sale of land. District 53 would have to seek a zoning text amendment and special use permit.
Sports Core property has been sold three times since the village purchased the property in 1977 from the Butler family: in 1996 to the Oak Brook Public Library, in 1998 to build homes at 31st Street and Westchester Park, and in 2000 to DuPage County as a right of way.~.