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Woodstock School District 200 accepts donation of vacant lot, talks TIF plans

Woodstock District 200 School Board President Carl Gilmore (left) and Superintendent Michael Moan listen during a board meeting May 30, 2017.
Woodstock District 200 School Board President Carl Gilmore (left) and Superintendent Michael Moan listen during a board meeting May 30, 2017.

The Woodstock School District 200 Board accepted a donation of a lot for its building trades program Tuesday.

Property owners Mary Ellen and Mark Dammyer have offered to donate a vacant 6,593-square-foot lot at 1360 Sandpiper Lane in the Country Ridge subdivision as long as the board pays any closing costs.

District 200’s building trades program aims to give students residential construction experience. The class undertakes a home construction project, and the students learn about carpentry, design, concrete, plumbing, heating, electrical, drywall, flooring, siding and landscaping, according to District 200’s website.

Students who complete the two-year course earn 60 credit hours. Course instructor Dale Daugherity and the building trades advisory committee recommended the acceptance of the donation after evaluating the lot.

Another class is in the process of constructing a home in the same subdivision at 1401 Sandpiper Lane, and the project is expected to be finished in May, according to the district.

Closing costs on the new lot likely will be between $1,500 and $2,000, and empty lots for the program have been priced from $10,000 to $40,000 in the past, District 200 chief financial officer Rita Hanson said.

Previous student builds through the program have been sold. The building trades program began in 1972, according to district documents.

On Tuesday, the board also continued its discussion on the city’s proposed tax increment financing district. Board officials are expected to take a formal stance on the matter at their next meeting, and they also will be able to provide comment at an upcoming Joint Review Board meeting.

The District 200 board has expressed concerns that the TIF plan will draw housing developments and more students to the district without an increase in tax dollars.

“I don’t see how we can support it,” board member Jacob Homuth said.

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