As a means to accommodate projected student growth and an already crowded campus, Komarek Elementary School District 94 is looking into the possibility of purchasing a home for sale located directly behind the east building’s gymnasium.
At the district’s December board meeting, school board members unanimously approved acquiring the property located at 2341 13th Ave. in North Riverside. According to the listing on real estate website Redfin.com, the four-bedroom, 1.5-bathroom house was built in 1952 and sits on a lot measuring approximately 4,338 square feet. The listing price of the home is $210,000.
At press time, the district had not purchased the property. Rather, Komarek Superintendent Brian Ganan says that with the board’s vote, the option of doing so is clearly on the table.
As a landlocked school district, there are limited options that exist for possible expansion of Komarek’s campus. Ganan says student enrollment currently is at 530 students, with district enrollment projected to continue growing over the next several years.
During the past decade, the school district has seen its enrollment rise by 31.5 percent. And since the year 2000, Komarek’s enrollment has spiked by 182 students, or more than 50 percent.
“I think it’s safe to say that we’re going to need space in the future,” Ganan said. “The problem is, for a situation like ours, the land doesn’t come available very often that’s close enough to the school, so that’s why we’re considering this right now. We’re always cognizant of the need for additional land and space for the school.”
Right now, the district has not made any definite decisions purchasing the home or what the district’s next steps for expansion might look like.
“The board just wants to be in a position to act immediately if we decide that’s the direction we want to take,” Ganan said in reference to the board’s December vote.
Questions regarding the use of the property include whether the school would demolish the home or what would be done to the existing village-owned alley that runs directly between the home and the school.
Ganan says at this point, the district does not know what would happen with the alley or what exactly would be done with the property.
“We’re still in the initial stages, working with architects as well as looking at a space utilization survey and looking at our existing space,” Ganan said.