Niles schools putting together Eastgate offer

Published 4:24 pm Monday, January 23, 2006

By By ANDY HAMILTON / Niles Daily Star
NILES - It took seven weeks for a response, but Niles Community Schools' Board of Education has finally received its answer - kind of.
It was around Thanksgiving when the board asked a California-based company if they would consider parting with their Eastgate Shopping Center property in Niles.
Last week, the board learned the owners of the 55-acre lot were not interested in selling, but were willing to listen to offers.
The building and site committe will be given permission at Monday night's board of education meeting to begin negotiating over the property. If the company becomes interested and decides to take the next step toward selling, NCS Superintendent Doug Law said the board may then have to rearrange the bond proposal budget.
The re-working of the budget, Law said, would be necessary to cover four new costs - the price of the property, the negotiating price for the 25 acre lot east of the shopping center (field of posts), the estimated cost of demolitioning the center and the type of environmental testing that has been done, or would be required, at the old gas station on the lot.
Law said many people he has met with would prefer to see some type of changes to the shopping center.
The bond proposal budget has been set up to pursue a seperate piece of land that the schools have already purchased a $10,000 option on. The option is non-refundable and holds the land for two years at a selling price to the school at $7,000 an acre. The 68-acre lot is about a mile away from the current high school at Lake Street and Carberry Road.
Law has also announced the times and dates of four meetings that are set up to address any questions people have concerning the bond issue. Each meeting will contain a short presentation followed by a question and answer session.
The board will also recommend the purchase of a new 84 passenger school bus from Holland Bus Company for $205, 329. The cost is the lowest of three bids received by the board.
Also on Monday night, the advanced graphics lab will accept a donation of $17,500 that is a tribute to Lew Carrington. The board will also accept the the Niles-Buchanan Relay for Life Committee's request for use of the football field for the annual 24-hour relay on July 21-23. The administartion is also recommending the expulsion of four middle school students for violations of the school's code of conduct.
The board will also approve the contract for new high school teacher Patty Bunner-Pitcher and review the NCS enrollment data, which Law said has remained strangely steady. Last month's enrollment ended at 4,051.5 while the current number for the district is at 4,052.5.
The board will also read a letter of thanks from Principal Cindy Wickman of Northside Child Development Center to Mr. James Meyer and the Niles Rotary Club for the Head Start/Early Learners luncheon the club hosted.
The final item for Monday evening will be celebrating School Board Member Recognintion Month. Law will present the board members with a certificate of recognition.