At the upcoming January 15, 2019 North Shore School District 112 (“NSSD 112”) Board of Education meeting, the Board will be discussing the possible relocation of the HP Community to a northwest portion of West Ridge Park (636 Ridge Road, Highland Park). The newly proposed location sits to the west of the Park District’s West Ridge Center on District 112 property.
The request follows a meeting held between representatives of the City of Highland Park (“City”), Park District, NSSD 112, and HP Community on Wednesday, January 9 to discuss the possibility of the Nursery School changing its proposed location from Kennedy Park to a portion of West Ridge Park, both of which are owned by NSSD 112. This meeting was scheduled in light of resident and Park District feedback pertaining to the recently approved land lease of a northern portion of Kennedy Park for HP Community to construct a new building on the site. Officials from NSSD 112 were open to bringing the matter before the Board of Education for discussion with a caveat that vehicular ingress and egress to a newly constructed school be from Ridge Road instead of Red Oak Lane due to traffic volumes related to student drop off and pick up at the schools along Red Oak Lane. All the interested parties are exploring the feasibility of this location and complying with the access restriction.
HP Community conducted an extensive multi-year search for a new location within Highland Park or Highwood in light of the City’s sale of the Karger Recreation Center (1850 Green Bay Road, Highland Park) due to building deterioration and rapidly increasing building maintenance costs. The Karger Center currently houses HP Community. An application is currently pending with the City for redevelopment of the Karger site into a multifamily residential property, thereby causing the Nursery School to search for new locations.
According to HP Community, following an exhaustive but unsuccessful search of existing structures within Highland Park and Highwood which included underutilized public facilities, houses of worship, and privately owned commercial properties, the Nursery School sought vacant land to build a new facility within Highland Park.
HP Community will coordinate a neighborhood meeting to continue discussing the potential use for the West Ridge Park site to any interested residents. Any future construction on the site would require a Public Hearing before the City’s Plan and Design Commission and formal approval by the City Council at a Regular Meeting before building permits would be issued by the City. HP Community has not yet submitted a development application to the City for any of the aforementioned locations.
For more information on the Highland Park Community Early Learning Center, please visit www.hpcommunity.org. The January 15, 2019 NSSD 112 Board of Education meeting is scheduled to begin at 7:00 PM at the Green Bay Early Childhood Center (1936 Green Bay Road, Highland Park). The meeting agenda will be posted on the NSSD website at www.nssd112.org/meetings at least 48 hours in advance of the meeting. Additionally, this topic is scheduled to be discussed at the Park District of Highland Park Board Meeting on January 22, 2019.