Park District & Hawthorn School District 73 Joint Development Project

December 22, 2016

The Vernon Hills Park District Board of Park Commissioners and the Hawthorn District 73 School Board announce that they are in discussions regarding a partnership in the development of a Kindergarten Center adjacent to the Sullivan Community Center Park District facility.  The new Kindergarten Center would house kindergarten classes currently attending the four Hawthorn elementary schools, and would be built to accommodate additional growth.  Hawthorn school buildings are at or exceed 95% capacity and enrollment has increased by over 350 students over the last four years.  “This will immediately free up classroom space in each of the elementary school buildings that will be used for the projected continued increased enrollment in the district”, said Hawthorn Superintendent Nick Brown.  Additionally, new planned developments within the Village of Vernon Hills on the Cuneo property, Riviera Estates, Melody Farms and Woodland Chase, are projected to add between 150 to 450 new students to the district over the next five years.

The Park District, which currently manages the Hawthorn Before and After School Care Program, will be able to engage those kindergarten children that choose to participate in those programs, and other Park District programs, in the new facility at the Sullivan Center.  The Park District will lease the new building to the Hawthorn School District according to terms to be agreed upon.  Hawthorn School District will pay the entire cost of construction and operation of the facility. The Kindergarten Center will use the new Park District gymnasium constructed at the Sullivan Center during school hours.  The Park District will have access to meeting room space in the new Kindergarten Center after school hours.    Park Board President David Doerhoefer states:  “This proposed agreement with the school district is one that we feel benefits the community and takes care of immediate space concerns within the schools while expanding our programming opportunities”.  “While the Kindergarten Center will provide much needed relief to the school district to address overcrowding in the buildings,” according to School Board President, Jeff Bard, “the school district will still be independently approving an Educational Facilities Master Plan as part of a plan to address long range building and learning needs“. 

The announced partnership would not have been possible without the original donation of land for Park District use, and the offer of land for use by the schools and the library by the Vernon Hills Village Trustees.  “We are happy to see the utilization of this land by three governmental entities under this intergovernmental agreement for the benefit of the entire community”, said Mayor Roger Byrne.      

SPECIAL MEETINGS: The joint boards of the Park District and school district will hold open community meetings at the Sullivan Community Center, 635 Aspen Drive on the following dates:

Tuesday, January 3rd @ 7:00 pm
Tuesday, January 10th @ 7:00 pm