Yorkville School District 115 is making a good decision by purchasing the buildings at 602 and 604 Center Parkway that they have been occupying as renters for nearly the past 20 years.
The School Board voted in favor of buying the buildings for $1.7 million at its Sept. 25 meeting. By purchasing the buildings, the district will be paying roughly the same annual cost but instead of giving the money to a landlord, the district will build equity and, when the buildings outgrow the district's needs, it will be a valuable asset.
The district currently occupies the entire 602 building and only about a third of the 604 building, officials said. The administrative staff that is currently making space in individual school buildings will be able to have office space at the 604 Center Parkway building, which will be the perfect use for the space. Moving the staff from individual school buildings will make space in the schools, which is needed as enrollment continues to grow.
Dean Romano, the district's chief operating officer, told our reporter that the district will use $400,000 from the district's fund balance in addition to a $1.315 million working cash bond to pay for the building's purchase. The payments will average $160,000 per year, which is the same as the rental payments the district is currently making, and the district is making those rent payments as they only use two-thirds of the space in the two buildings.
For taxpayers, that's a win-win. The bond is set to be paid off in 10 years, or less if the district decides to pay early, and after that the district will have $160,000 annually to put toward other expenses. Granted the property will be off the property tax rolls once the district buys it, but ultimately taxpayers will be saving money by not having to pay rent into perpetuity.