Triton College's Board of Trustees has purchased an 8.3-acre former golf driving range just south of its River Grove campus to expand its footprint. It's unclear at this time how the new property will be developed to further the community college's mission. | PROVIDED

A former golf practice range in Melrose Park is now part of Triton College’s campus after the college’s Board of Trustees unanimously agreed to purchase the land in November for $3.6 million.

Trustees unanimously approved a resolution to authorize the purchase by issuing a five-year debt certificate through BMO Harris Bank. The interest rate for the debt certificate will be no higher than 2.4 percent.

The 8.3-acre property — located at 1701 S. 5th Ave., just west of Costco, east of Gottlieb Hospital and immediately south of Triton’s east side campus — was formerly Golfland Arcade, a practice driving range that closed in 1996.

According to documents from the Nov. 2 meeting, college officials believe that the property “is suitable for opportunities such as a new education building to house college programs, expansion of the horticulture department’s academic activities or uses for other programs and facilities.”

The property was listed on LoopNet for $7 million, but according to county land records, the property was purchased for $3.3 million in 2006 by River Park Development LLC, based in Harwood Heights. Albert Bruno is listed as the manager of that company.

Records show that Bruno took out a $5.2 million mortgage on the property at the time of the purchase. Attempts to contact Bruno were unsuccessful. 

In the last several years, Triton has undergone a series of new construction and capital improvement projects as part of a $53 million Campus Renewal Project, including a major renovation of its health and sciences facility in 2015. 

The renewal project also included the $14 million renovation of its east athletic complex, completed in 2016, and improvements to its student center and child development center, among many others.

So far, it isn’t known whether or not the purchase of Golfland is part of that renewal project. Attempts to contact Triton officials before press time were unsuccessful.

Triton College serves Riverside, North Riverside as well as the Riverside and Proviso township portions of Brookfield.