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Glen Ellyn Park District, D-87 negotiate facility use agreement

Published: Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013 11:53 a.m. CST

GLEN ELLYN – Glen Ellyn Park District and Glenbard Township High School District 87 are seeking to consolidate their many intergovernmental agreements (IGAs) to make their shared use of facilities clearer and more equitable.

Because District 87 uses the park district's facilities more often, the school district will pay a $50,000 usage fee per year to the park district during the next decade. That amount will increase to $55,000 for the following 10 years, if the agreement is renewed.

The proposed fees are similar to what Glenbard West High School – the main school affected by the agreement – has paid to the park district in the past to support capital improvements to the Village Green property, where the school's baseball program plays.

"The proposed agreement attempts to provide athletic opportunities for Glenbard West, who has very limited resources for their teams and participants," park district Executive Director Dave Harris said. "Glenbard West, along with Glenbard South, has facilities that are unique and helpful to the Glen Ellyn Park District in satisfying its participants' needs."

District 87 has experienced a growing need for facilities because of increased participation in extracurriculars, said Community Relations Coordinator Peg Mannion.

Glenbard's partnership with the park district helps fill that void, and overall, Board of Education members are in favor of the revised agreement, Mannion said.

"We are very fortunate," she said. "We have a very collaborative relationship with the park district."

The proposed IGA would replace four other agreements between the park and school districts related to facility usage. It is the result of several months of negotiations between the two districts.

As part of those discussions, the park district sought ways to make its current agreements with District 87 more equitable because of Glenbard West's greater need for park facilities.

Although the school district will pay an annual usage fee, the fee for the park district to use Memorial Field will be waived as part of the new agreement. The agreement also includes additonal school district spaces that the park district will be able to use without paying a yearly fee, including Glenbard South High School's turf field and the Glenbard South and West auditoriums.

Some members of the park district Board of Commissioners expressed concerns at their meeting Dec. 3 that the agreement still isn't as equal as they'd like it to be.

"This is guaranteeing their athletic program facilities for 10 to 20 years," board President Jay Kinzler said. "This is a huge thing that they can just not worry about."

Another item that came from negotiations between District 87 and the park district is the possibility of installing turf on the upper field of Newton Park, although that is not included as part of the draft IGA.

This coincides with the park district's goal of improving its facilities and would allow the field to be used for more than 300 days per year, a large increase from its current yearly use of only about 20 days, according to park district records.

The fees District 87 pays to the park district will support the costs associated with potentially installing the turf field.

The park district Board of Commissioners is expected to vote on the agreement at its meeting Dec. 17. While the District 87 Board of Education is scheduled to meet Dec. 16, Mannion said she was unsure whether the item would appear on the agenda for a vote.

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