January 26, 2023

Dear LT School Community,

The purpose of this communication is to share additional information regarding the Board of Education’s process to explore the sale of the Lyons Township High School District 204-owned Willow Springs property. 

At its meeting on Monday, January 23, the Board voted to reject the two bids the district received at its public bid opening on January 11, due to the bids not conforming to the approved terms and conditions. The bids were $46.5 million from ProLogis, Inc. and $55 million from Bridge Industrial, Inc. The Board remains committed to exploring the sale of the Willow Springs property and will continue to communicate and negotiate with all interested parties that meet the Board's approved minimum sale price of $55 million.  

It is also important to share additional background regarding the timeline of due diligence conducted by the Board in order to explore a potential sale. The Board received a letter of interest in March 2022 for the entire 80-acre parcel, which did not acknowledge the portion of the parcel that is not owned by District 204. Following the Board's receipt of the preliminary letter of interest with the inaccurate site description in March 2022, the Board began conducting due diligence on the overall feasibility of a potential property sale, not negotiations with prospective buyers.  

The due diligence period included legal consultation, a comprehensive enrollment study, appraisal of the property, and a community-engaged facilities study. This due diligence period took approximately 8 months to complete. After reviewing the outputs from the studies, the Board made the decision to continue the exploration process by drafting terms and conditions and preparing for a sealed bid process to determine if there was interest from potential buyers. From March 2022 through present, this due diligence process has included public discussions held during Open Meetings, as well as confidential, Closed Session discussions that are allowed under Section 2 of the Open Meetings Act in discussing the sale of property owned by a public body. Ultimately, every step in this process has and will continue to follow the processes and prescribed methods for selling real property outlined in the Illinois School Code. 

In November 2022, the Board launched a website on the topic and communicated via email and a press release with the LT school community. These communications included information regarding the Board's due diligence, upcoming steps in the process, and an opportunity for the community to provide feedback regarding a potential sale. Communications with the Village of Willow Springs, Pleasantdale Park District, and Pleasantdale School District 107 occurred during this part of the exploration period, as well. The Board has not refused meetings with any of the parties, but rather offered alternative dates and times to discuss the current status of the sale. In addition, we anticipate additional discussions between all parties once a final buyer has been identified and is under contract.  

The District 204 Board believes strongly in making decisions that positively impact all students in our school community, and does not place the specific interests of any one community over the others. As we have regularly communicated, the Board is in the process of exploring a property sale because of the opportunity it presents to renovate our two campuses, which directly aligns with the goals of our District's Strategic Plan.

The Board encourages our community to continue to share input and learn more by visiting www.ltwillowsprings.org

Lyons Township High School District 204 Board of Education
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100 S. Brainard Ave.
LaGrange, IL 60525
(708) 579-6300