McHenry Grade School Board Seems To Be Planning to Sell Landmark School to Residential Developer

McHenry’s Landmark Elementary School.

From the mother of a pupil at Landmark School:

I am a mother of a kindergarten student who attends Landmark Elementary School.

Yesterday, all parents of Landmark students were notified that D15 is looking at the possibility of closing the school.

All of the parents are devastated as Landmark is a one-of-a-kind choice school within D15 that offers a different experience for its students and families with a year-round school year and looping teachers even winning an exemplary award this year for academic excellence.

I found out a few weeks ago that the building at 1111 N. Green Street is looking to be developed by a developer who wants to put residential apartments or condos.

The Landmark School area with 111 N. Green Street marked.

I was already concerned about all of this construction that may be going on, literally right behind the swing set of the school.

Now we have received notice of the intent to close the school due to financial reasons after a series of 3 public hearings, the first of which is set or April 22nd, at 6 pm at McHenry Middle School.

After hearing this new via email from D15 on 04/10, I watched the board of education meeting from 04/09.

McHenry Grade School District 15 Board.

It seems to be that D15 develops a strategic plan without the thought of Landmark students in mind.

A facilities architectural study was completed on Landmark and presented at this meeting which stated that Landmark was requiring an estimated 13.5 million dollars in funds to bring it up to compliance with D15’s strategic plan.

After reviewing the study in the presentation, I see they have broken the finance estimates down into three categories;

  • safety and maintenance,
  • expansion and accessibility, and
  • amenities.

After reviewing the video, I see many wants and not a lot of needs outlined in this summary. D15 also mentioned in this board meeting that they have 70 million dollars in investments which they say is a benefit as they do not need to put large financial decisions to referendum.

They also approved a large amount of money to other schools within D15.

From the meeting video, it appears that they usual give most schools around 3 million dollars for summer projects.

The estimated amount of funds to complete the safely portion of the study range from 3,314,000 to 4,093,800 and is estimated to take place over a 5 year period.

There was very little discussion in my opinion on different options to keep the school open via the board members.

During the course of the study presentation, they mentioned that the tuck-pointing and roofing would take 3 months each and cannot be done at the same time.

Landmark only has a 6 week summer break so they stated this was something that couldn’t reasonably be done without moving the kids to a different school during the work.

They said that if the work was broken up into phases it would be more expensive but this was not an avenue that was seriously discussed. 

During this video they also discussed creating a new building to house all of the equipment for D15.

This is after they already spent 1.6 million dollars on their new administration office.

Yet, they cannot seem to allocate funds to keep our school open. 

I have attached the link to the D15 Board of Education meeting. Around 30 minutes in they start discussing the strategic plan and shortly after present the survey for Landmark.

I hope you can watch this issue and help bring public attention to what is occurring at our school. I also hope you can attend our public hearing at McHenry Middle School on April 22nd, 2024 at 6pm. 

Here is the meeting link: https://m.youtube.com/live/MqkaOWNERZ4?feature=share


Comments

McHenry Grade School Board Seems To Be Planning to Sell Landmark School to Residential Developer — 13 Comments

  1. Artful. That spoiled brat is just seeking attention. I wonder if the noise she heard after the seal clapping ended was her grandfather rolling over in his coffin.

  2. Landmark has been standing there for many generations.

    Since 1894,that building has stood.

    My God man,just 30 years prior, Abraham Lincoln abolished slavery & was then assassinated for it.

    Back then,students coming from Greenwood,Ringwood,Richmond and beyond came to school on horse-drawn wagons, horseback and the power of their own 2 feet.

    That School belongs to the residents, and our ancestors who walked countless hours to & from school.

  3. They just don’t WANT to keep it open. 🤷‍♀️

    If D15 has $70 Million in investments which makes it possible to make large financial expenditures without a referendum…why do they need 47% of my property taxes when neither of my kids used or are using their schools?

    Seems like they could AND SHOULD take less property taxes if they’re that well off financially

  4. You legally cannot tear down a historic landmark just because they don’t care it only money money money not preserving our landmarks it’s a beautiful building .

    I went to 5th grade there.

    A lot of memories I cannot stand the meeting as I live out of town please please reconsider your decision

  5. This will not happen if the City and I have anything to say about it.

  6. That’s crazy to sell

    It should be a museum,

    Some kind of historical
    Building.

    There’s plenty of apartments.
    In mchenry.

  7. So is it already 100% closing ?

    Or it’s up for debate / finical reevaluation?

    Thanks

  8. What I see are early signs of closure.

    It is still up for debate, however.

    And school board elections are next spring.

  9. Civil action required (meaning attend meanings, learn, express your views) and discussion to be had concerning the intricacies of balance – existing landmark building, with consideration of finances, with consideration of the needs of the community.

    A developer is not forcing this – just identifying a site they would be interested in.

    Apartments are necessary and needed in most communities as the next generation cannot afford to buy where they grew up.

    Property taxes are brutal in Illinois – and as we all know, the school district can make up close to half that amount.

    Not faulting the local district -but sure wish we could realize an administrative consolidation to lessen the burden.

    A school district with “money in the bank” is far better than one without.

  10. I went to school here in 1965 5th grade.

    MISS CLARK was my teacher.

    My 2 daughters went to school here and my grand children went to school here also.

    This building has a lot of history.

    If it’s not going to be a school anymore. Turn it in to a museum about the HISTORY OF LANDMARK AND THE HISTORY OF MCHENRY.

    THERE IS NOT A MUSEUM IN MCHENRY.

    A lot of my other family members went to school here also,I don’t think my daughter and I could attend the meetings since we no longer live in McHenry School district.

    WE live just over the border in Wisconsin from Havard.

    But this breaks my heart ♥ and made me cry.

    I still have many family and friends who live in McHenry area and we are in McHenry to visit family and family and we still attend many of the things going on in McHenry

    My great grand daughter lives in McHenry and we go visit her

    Landmark has always been a beacon like a light house standing tall on the hill

  11. elections have consequences.

    id make sure the school board knows that at the first meeting.

    if the boards not doing the will of the people then its time to elect a new school board.

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