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Community High School District 99 Agrees to Offer Property for Sale to Fund Capital Improvement Projects

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Posted On
August 12, 2005
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CHICAGO – On April 11, the Community High School District 99 Board of Education agreed to offer their 45–acre property for sale, located at the intersection of Woodridge Drive and Center Drive in the Village of Woodridge. The sale of the property will assist with one–time, long–term capital improvement projects that will enhance the infrastructures of North and South High Schools. The decision to sell the property was based on a pressing need to address facility maintenance/improvement projects and the opinions of community residents.

The property was initially purchased in 1966 with the intent to serve as a third site for a new high school, as the school district’s population expanded. However, due to an extensive enrollment study performed in 2004, projected growth of the school district determined that a third high school was unnecessary. In 1973, 1974 and 1997 district residents also voted against referendums that would approve building an additional high school.

In 1998, a referendum for additions and renovations was proposed to the two existing high schools. However, the referendum did not address all of the school district’s capital improvement needs, leaving the district without proper funding for such projects as major site improvements at both schools.

To assess the opinions of the residents, a community survey was conducted in June 2004. The survey indicated that the majority of respondents believed that the land should be sold.

“A one–time event such as this should not be used to fund on-going operations, however, it is appropriate to use these proceeds for long–term investment purposes or for major capital improvement projects,” said Mark Staehlin, District Controller. “Property tax caps have caused all Illinois schools to consider alternative funding sources to meet organizational objectives. District 99 is fortunate to have an asset that can provide such substantial benefit to us.”

The proceeds will be placed in restricted funds primarily to be used for long–term capital projects. Prior to the decision to offer the property for sale, District 99 had generously extended the use of the property to various entities such as the Village of Woodridge, Woodridge Park District and the Village’s Fire Department for community activities. The Village of Woodridge and the Park District have both expressed interest in acquiring the property.

“District 99 serves multiple villages within its district boundaries and the board must consider the needs of the entire school district rather than the interest of a single Village as decisions are made about financial resources,” said David R. Eblen, School District Superintendent. “In an era of limited resources, District 99 must make a decision that maximizes its revenue stream in order to provide the best educational programs for all the students it serves,” added Eblen.

Assisting Community High School District 99 in the potential disposition of the property sale is Newcastle Advisors, LLC. Newcastle Advisors, LLC is a Chicago–based commercial real estate advisory and development firm.

About Community High School District 99

Community High School District 99 operates two high schools, North High School and South High School, both in Downers Grove. The District 99 area comprises 45,000 households in Downers Grove and Woodridge and portions of Darien, Westmont, Oak Brook, Lisle, Bolingbrook and unincorporated areas.

About Newcastle Limited

Chicago–based Newcastle Advisors, LLC is a national commercial real estate firm serving governmental agencies, institutions, not–for–profit organizations, corporations and private investors. The firm’s strategic advisory, development and investment services are designed to reduce project risk and maximize asset value. To learn more about Newcastle, call Mike Haney at (312) 252–1401 or visit the company website at www.newcastlelimited.com.