D97 still shopping their main office, warehouse

An unstable real estate market hasn’t slowed District 97’s efforts to sell its Madison Street headquarters and storage warehouse properties.

Jamil Bou-Saab, an Oak Park resident and chair of the Dist. 97 Facilities Advisory Committee, said several options are being explored, including sharing space with another public entity or having one property house both the warehouse and headquarters. He added that one option is having the warehouse located outside of Oak Park.

The district’s main office is currently located at 970 Madison and its warehouse at 541 Madison. The buildings were appraised in 2007 at $2.3 million and $1.6 million, respectively. District officials have said they want to sell both properties. Bou-Saab, a 15-year Oak Park resident who runs an engineering consulting firm, said the district is checking properties that come onto the market.

“Every option is on the table. We’re looking at locations and different sizes. We’re looking at every possible alternative,” he said.

Bou-Saab added that the administration and board will make the decision on when to sell. The Facilities Advisory Committee was created out of the district’s strategic plan and currently has eight volunteer members. Bou-Saab gave an update on the headquarters and warehouse search at last Tuesday’s Dist. 97 Board of Education meeting.

Holmes and Lincoln schools closing for the summer

Holmes Elementary School and Lincoln Elementary School will be closed this summer for renovations.

Holmes will receive an upgraded fire-alarm system and Lincoln will have floor tiles with asbestos removed. The projects are part of the district’s summer 2009 capital projects for the elementary schools, but only Holmes and Lincoln will close for the summer while work is being done. The Buildings and Grounds Department next week will meet with the principals and staff of the two schools to determine where to relocate their summer programs. District officials said Park District of Oak Park facilities are an option. The school board is expected to vote on the summer projects, estimated to cost more than $993,000, at its regular meeting next Tuesday Feb. 24.

OPRF welcomes black professionals to meet students

Oak Park and River Forest High School’s 9th annual Black Professionals Day takes place Thursday. OPRF annually brings business, education and other professionals to speak to students. The event is sponsored by the OPRF African American Faculty/Staff Advisory Council. For more information, visit the school’s Web site, oprfhs.org, or call: 383-0700. This year’s speakers are:

  • Capt. Amahdy Bradley, director of compliance and security, U.S. Army Reserves
  • Musician Tim Williams
  • Eldridge Edgecombe, senior vice president of Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago
  • Leon Anderson, criminal defense lawyer
  • Irving Nicholson, of We Jam Productions
  • Wanda McDonald, nurse with the Oak Park Public Health Dept.
  • Frank Pogue, interim president of Chicago State University
  • Anne Fredd, attorney
  • Bernard Kendrick, pharmaceutical sales
  • Mark Durham, director of alumni affairs at Chicago State University
  • Gwen Bayless, civil litigation attorney and Patrice Ball Reid, associate judge for the Circuit Court of Cook County

Golden Apple announcements expected in April

Expecting Golden Apple nominations this month? Don’t expect an announcement until May. The Golden Apple Foundation, which hands out the awards annually to 10 Chicago-area teachers changed its award schedule last year. The 30 finalists will be announced in April and the winners in May. Oak Park resident Donnell White, who teaches at Michele Clark Preparatory High School in Austin, won a Golden Apple last year.

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