Four schools in Highland Park’s District 112 are historic and slated to close in 2017. Landmarks Illinois, a group that works to preserve the state’s architectural and cultural landmarks opposes their closure.
Lincoln Elementary School, Ravinia Elementary School, Elm Place Middle School and the Green Bay School date back to the early 19th century. North Shore School District 112 want them closed to save its budget. The schools cost at least $5 millions in personnel costs and millions more in long-term maintenance fees. Landmarks Illinois points to their historic value and urges that the District consider reconverting rather than razing these buildings.
If sold, each of the properties could fetch sizeable amounts of money. The 3.7-acre Green Bay School property was appreciated at $5.2 million last year for its prime location and its possibility to hold multi-family housing. 3.3-acre Elm Place Middle School is zoned for single-family housing and might fetch around $4 million. Lincoln Elementary School and Ravinia Elementary School, parts of each dating from 1909 and 1913 respectively, sit on property zoned for single-family housing.
Landmarks Illinois urged the Highland Park school district to involve local residents, officials and planning administrators in their plans about how the schools would be used.
District 112 Board President Michael Cohn said that the Board hasn’t yet considered the future of the schools and whether they would be sold, reused or repurposed by an institution such as city or park district.