Butler family opposes school at Oak Brook Sports Core
Updated: March 18, 2013 1:16AM
OAK BROOK — The Butler family has issued a statement opposing plans of Butler Elementary District 53 to build a new school on Sports Core property.
The family said the plan “is not in keeping with the original sale of that property to the people of Oak Brook, nor is it keeping with the original gift of lands to District 53 for two neighborhood schools.”
“It is important for the people of Oak Brook to know that those early decisions regarding gifts and sales of land to the people of the village were not arrived at lightly,” the statement read. “These issues were debated and discussed within the family, and a vote was taken; it was important to the entire Butler family.”
The District 53 Board is interested in purchasing 8.5 acres of property from village and building a school for students in kindergarten through eighth grade. That plan would include closing Butler Junior High and Brook Forest Elementary, and selling those properties, which were gifts of the Butler family.
School Board President Alan Hanzlik initially contacted the Butler family about the plans for a new school.
“We wanted to reach out to them,” Hanzlik. Said. “Legally, we don’t need their permission to sell the two properties, and the deed for the Sports Core property allows the village to sell up to 85 acres with voter approval.”
Hanzlik stands by his earlier statement that initial response from the Butler family offered support of the new school plan for a new school.
Michael Butler wrote in an email to The Doings that the initial support was offered before all information had been acquired.
Members of the Butler family have been in contact with former Village President Karen Bushy, who has been outspoken against using Sports Core property as a site for a new school.
“We’re disappointed that the Butlers are now against what we want to do, but I didn’t lie about us getting their support earlier,” Hanzlik said. “It’s hard to really gauge their change in opinion; I don’t know what Karen Bush has told them.”
The village purchased the Sports Core property in 1977 from Paul Butler, who died in 1982.
Before District 53 would be able to go ahead with the building of a new school, voters need to approve two April 9 referendums.
The first referendum, for all Oak Brook voters, will seek approval for the village to sell Sports Core property to District 53.
A second referendum will ask voters in District 53 to approve the sale of $15 million in bonds to help fund the building of a new school.