Minooka school districts find room for buses
Boards approve purchase of 84 Lumber buildings
MINOOKA — Minooka Grade School District 201 and Minooka Community High School District 111 will join forces and purchase the former 84 Lumber buildings on Minooka Road to use as a bus barn.
The grade school district discussed the issue at their July Board of Education meeting to get a jump on acquiring the building. The purchase was approved by the Dist. 201 board at the August meeting on Wednesday.
Minooka High School’s Board of Education also approved the purchase during executive session the prior week.
The plan is to close on the building 45 days from when District 201 approved the purchase, Minooka High Superintendent Jim Colyott said.
“We are excited to work collaboratively with Minooka 201,” Colyott said.
The 12.79-acre site includes four buildings – a 12,000-square-foot main building, a 30,000-square-foot millwork building and two storage sheds at 10,800 and 6,000 square feet.
The property and facilities are being purchased for $2 million, with half coming from each school district.
The districts made a fast-track sale and acquired the property for $1 million less than the Equalized Assessed Value, Minooka Grade School Superintendent Al Gegenheimer said.
“We are getting the property for less than the EAV," he said. "It will really make a nice facility."
The two districts jointly own a much smaller bus garage behind the baseball diamond at Minooka Primary Center. Buses are parked all over the lot, along the gravel side roads and at most of the elementary buildings.
The grade school owns about 70 buses and the high school about 50, Gegenheimer said. The high school also utilizes the garages to park their driver’s education vehicles.
Besides having adequate parking for the districts’ fleets, they will also have more room for repair and maintenance work. There are just two bays available for mechanics to work at the current location.
Gegenheimer said a meeting will be scheduled with an architect to design the facility for their specific usage. District 201 board members, bus drivers, high school personnel and other administration will be involved in the process, Gegenheimer said.
Minooka Grade School board member Doug Martin voted against the purchase during open session on Wednesday. Board members Dave Carlson, Al Skwarczynski and Board President Jim Satorius voted in favor. Members Kathe Brozman, Kevin Hannon and Jeff Budde were absent.
“I don’t think enough time was spent considering alternate courses of action,” Martin said following the meeting.
Gegenheimer and Colyott had been working on the project and acquisition for some time, Colyott said.
“Both districts are excited to work together in the future, as they have in the past,” he said.