In 1999, District 15 purchased more than 40 acres of land for a price tag of $3.2 million from District 211. Now, the school board will begin to consider options on what to do with the property.
The two separate parcels were part of a package deal. They include strips of land on the south side of Palatine High School near Virginia Lake Elementary School, and 40 acres technically located in Inverness, off of Ela Road, south of Freeman and north of the Bonny Glen Subdivision.
“At the time, the housing market was booming, and we thought we may need to build another junior high school on the west side of the district to plan for the future,” said Scott Thompson, superintendent of schools.
Thompson said since the housing market has taken a nose dive, and enrollment leveled off, the District 15 board will now begin discussing what the future may hold for the land.
“The board wants administration to come back with the current value of the property, and for us to identify how we think it could be used in the future,” Thompson said.
Previously, the District 15 board gave the go-ahead to use the Inverness property for an educational farm as long as taxpayer money wasn't used, Thompson said, and that is something he believes could be a valuable learning opportunity for students.
“It would be a dream to continue the educational farm, we could educate students on nutritious and organic foods; I would like to hold on to the land for the value it could bring to our district,” Thompson said.
Thompson said there are no immediate plans regarding the property in the next few months, but instead the issue will be revisited by the board in the near future for ongoing discussions.