The Riverside School District 96 Board of Education really has been in the mood to buy property lately.
Still hoping to convince the Hollywood Citizens Association to sell the district land for a playground next to Hollywood School in Brookfield, the District 96 board acted recently to ink a contract to buy a home on Repton Road in Riverside next door to Ames School.
Riverside’s schools, with the exception of the Central/Hauser campus, are notoriously landlocked with almost no room to expand should the necessity arise. Ames School, in particular, has been a school that has struggled to meet the demands of enrollment from its neighborhood boundaries, which include the North Riverside portion of Riverside Township.
Essentially, the school is one classroom short of being able to host three sections of each grade. Officials could do it, but it would come at the expense of other programs, such as art instruction.
By gaining a sizeable lot directly east of the old school building, Ames has room to expand in order to meet its enrollment demands. Should the school board decide that future enrollment trends don’t warrant expansion, the Repton Road property could be converted into a playground area of some sort.
Right now, Ames has a small playground area, with recess often taking place on the asphalt parking lot behind the school.
The school district also has the good fortune of buying a home whose next-door neighbor is a longtime local teacher who supports the move. The timing for this land purchase is right, and the district has the reserve funds to make such a capital investment.