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Joliet Site Being Eyed for Two New Troy Schools

Troy School District 30C officials will meet with Joliet's land use committee Thursday to discuss the possibility of building a school campus at Essington and Glenwood.

is considering the purchase of land at Essington Road and Glenwood Avenue as the future site of a two-school campus for fifth- through eighth-grade students.

The district will present its concept to the 's land use committee Thursday to determine if the city would give its blessing to such a plan, something district officials want in advance of entering into negotiations to buy the site, District 30C Supt. Don White said Wednesday.

The sprawling school district of 4,600 students covers portions of , and Crest Hill and encompasses a large swath of Joliet from about Houbolt Road west to the Joliet Junction Trail, near where Joyce Road intersects with Jefferson Street. The site under consideration is currently farm property.

White said they found the spot when they began looking for 50-acre parcels within the district on which two schools -- one for fifth- and sixth-graders and the other for seventh- and eighth-graders -- could be built.

When the new buildings might be needed is predicated entirely upon when the construction of new housing resumes, he said. There are large subdivisions in the district that have been platted but not built; district officials want to be prepared for the new students that will come with that development in order to avoid overcrowding existing schools.

White stressed, however, that nothing can be built without voter approval. While the school board might be able to authorize the purchase of land, it cannot unilaterally construct new buildings without putting a referendum on the election ballot, he said.

Essington Road is a major north-south corridor for Joliet, but At-Large Joliet City Councilman Don Fisher, who chairs the land use committee, sees a school campus as a potentially ideal use given its proximity to residential neighborhoods.

"I'm pretty sure there's not a need for more residential; we have an abundance of (unbuilt) residential," Fisher said.

And there's no shortage of commercial property given the marketable properties along Jefferson Street, Route 59, Plainfield Road and elsewhere in the city, he said.

What's appealing about the school concept is it's a low-intensity use that keeps a lot open green space and will include possible amenities that would be open to the public when school is not in session, Fisher said.

White said the plan would also include some neighborhood park land so that a plot of fully mature trees will not have to be removed.

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Tony August 09, 2012 at 07:30 PM
You can bet the property taxes will go sky high to cover the costs.I live in Troy township and my subdivision has quite a few empty houses and a lot of homes for sale in it. The only vacant property in that area is a corn field and I don't recall seeing any for sale signs on the corn field. There is plenty of vacant property west of 59,Troy already has a school in that area surrounded by farmland.
west sider August 09, 2012 at 08:12 PM
Why would they need additional schools when there are not additional homes being built and our area is not growing. In fact there are just more and more foreclosures. I would say no to this referendum.
Karen Sorensen August 09, 2012 at 08:36 PM
West Sider -- I think the plan would be just to purchase the land right now, while it's still available. The actual schools would not be built until they're actually needed. That could be several years from now, depending on the economy, and remember that nothing will be built until the voters say OK.
Kristine Neumann August 09, 2012 at 08:36 PM
This sounds like when Joliet wanted to build a new high school because the school was overcroweded. It failed at least 4 times & the last time the superintendent tried to sneak it on the ballot because no one knew about it until the very last minute. Be careful, because it will mean higher taxes. Just what we need in this economy.
Jax August 14, 2013 at 06:54 AM
After seeing how the board treated the parent of those opposing the new dress code which i found disgraceful..Good luck getting voter approval on anything until the board become finacially responsible with taxpayer money and until more can be found out about how actually 42% of Troys district is living in poverty and gets free tuition and lunches and now uniforms..Griglione and Carny are two of the rudest and arrognant people I think I have ever met. They need to go next election

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