Will Crystal Lakers End up Paying for a Grade School Twice?

Inside the Crystal Lake Library.

The Northwest Herald has a fascinating article about the possibility of the Crystal Lake Library District using a Crystal Lake Grade School District elementary school.

Wednesday night the Board held a meeting in which the following was on the agenda:

AGENDA ITEMS REQUIRING DISCUSSION AND/OR BOARD APPROVAL
5.1 Discussion on D47 Facility Use – Dr. Mendoza

Naturally, I am seeking more information.

But, let’s assume the Northwest Herald story is accurate and the Elementary School District is thinking about re-visiting the possibility of closing a grade school.

When I wrote my article about the possibility, I suggested either Husmann or South Schools could be converted to housing for seniors. Both have advantages. Husmann because it is within walking distance of Downtown and across from the library building and South because it one story with a basement.

See

Which Grade School to Close

for more details.

South Grade School

And enrollment continues to fall:

  • 2007 – 9,124
  • 2011 – 8,359
  • 2012 – Down another 300 the NWH reports, although I cannot find enrollment figure on the DE47 web site

So down about a thousand since the recession started.

Now comes forth a new option.

Having the Crystal Lake Public Library use one of the grade schools.

Husmann Grade School is right across the street from the Library. It underwent at least extensive exterior renovation this past summer.

There are several problems with such a possibility.

Crystal Lake taxpayers might get stuck with paying for a grade school twice.

The library is a City library.   That means those living outside of Crystal Lake cannot use it without paying what they would have paid in property taxes had their homes been inside the City limits.

However, the school district boundaries are much larger.  Lakewood, part of Prairie Grove, part of Lake in the Hills and lots of unincorporated subdivisions surrounding Crystal Lake helped Crystal Lake residents pay for the schools.

The other consideration is that when Prairie Grove is developed, there will presumably still be the need to a new grade school building.

Perhaps the School Board would consider renting an elementary school to the Library Board, just in case the economy takes off again, providing the need for another grade school.

It would seem to me that we would not want to follow Huntley’s example in which the taxpayers were forced to pay for schools twice.

The Huntley School District sold its high school and either a nearby grade or middle school to the park district.

Now, the park district boundaries are closer to the school district boundaries in Huntley than are Crystal Lake’s limits to those of District 47, but most Huntley area taxpayers ended up paying for the schools twice.

That, of course, is an argument for consolidation of governments…unless one thinks paying for public buildings more than once is a good idea.


Comments

Will Crystal Lakers End up Paying for a Grade School Twice? — 1 Comment

  1. Would be interested in what the Library and School District have to say about a leasing option.

    And how far out do the School Districts enrollment projects go?

    Most school districts update enrollment projections on a regular basis.

    Enrollments go through peaks and valleys as waves of students move through the system.

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