Rockford Park District Wants to Turn Closed Local Schools Into Parks
The Rockford School District plans to close 8 local schools over the next 3 years, and this leaves the neighbors surrounding them wondering what will happen to these old buildings then?
Well, according to the Rockford Register Star, the Rockford Park District would like to turn a few of the closed school locations into neighborhood parks.
Out of the eight Rockford schools scheduled to be closed; Cherry Valley, White Swan, Dennis, King, Kishwaukee, Nelson, Thompson and Walker, the Park District is only interested in the Thompson, Walker and White Swan locations. The Park District would also like to negotiate deals for two previously closed schools, New Milford and Stiles, for new neighborhood park locations as well.
Rockford Park District Executive Director, Tim Dimke, recently told the Register Star that the Park District has "been watching the School District's plans very closely. We believe we can come up with good plans for those five locations so when all is said and done the property will be a plus for the neighborhood."
Upon reading this, I'm sure you have the same thought that I did, "Would these park plans involve the demolition of the old school buildings?" It looks like the answer is yes.
The RRStar also states that the Rockford School District has made it clear they have no desire to be landlords or to continue owning these closed properties, but they want to make sure they don't hand them over to developers that can't deliver on their promised for the properties either. They are committed to finding someone capable of redeveloping the locations, and it sounds to me like the Rockford Park District would be the perfect answer!
To read more about the possibilities for these closed school locations, or the five things that could hinder the process, check out the full Register Star article here.