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D-157 buys property to house transportation department

Published: Tuesday, June 25, 2013 5:06 p.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, June 25, 2013 11:39 p.m. CDT

RICHMOND – District 157 is looking to move its transportation offsite.

The district closed Monday on the purchase of 4213 Route 12 for $950,000, Superintendent Dan Oest said.

The plan is to relocate the district's transportation department, including offices, service area and the housing of the buses to the Route 12 property, though a timeline hasn't been set, he said.

The District 157 school board had bought another property for the same purpose in December 2008 for $535,000, but the property, a farm at 5215 W. Solon Road, would have cost $1 million to renovate.

Because the Route 12 property is designed to house something like this, it will require little renovation, he said. Nippersink Landscape Supply moved from the location last fall.

The board voted at its last meeting to enter into a sealed bid process on the West Solon Road property. That means interested buyers can submit sealed offers to the district.

The board does not have to accept those offers when it makes its decision in mid- to late-August and instead can choose to go through a traditional sale process.

"Certainly one hopes to recoup [the cost]," Oest said. "I can't speculate right now. I'm not certain what the property will bring."

The district has enough money in the bank to cover the cost of buying and renovating the Route 12 property, he said.

District 157 provides busing for the one school it contains, Richmond-Burton Community High School, as well as Nippersink District 2, which covers the same geographic area. The two districts have several shared services agreement and share many of its district staff.

The transportation department currently is housed at the high school, and any development or expansion would require it to be moved, Oest said.

The board has looking at options for many years as part of its long-range planning, he said.

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