The Elwood Community Consolidated School District 203 Board of Education weighed in on the matter of NorthPoint Development’s proposed 2,000-plus acre industrial park.
The board voted, 5-1, to adopt a resolution that stated the development is not in the best interest of Elwood CCSD #203. District Superintendent Cathie Pezanoski said this is a resolution that the Board of Education will stand by and will then be presented to the Elwood Village Board.
Pezanoski said the Board of Education asked her to reach out to NorthPoint for them to present at a board meeting. So at their regular September board meeting, NorthPoint representatives did a presentation on what the development would do for Elwood and specifically for the school district.
NorthPoint Development is aiming to build the $1.2 billion Compass Business Park, which has a number of residents of Elwood and the surrounding area very concerned. At that September board meeting, several members of the public spoke about their opinions on the development, which the board took into account when they discussed the project at the October meeting.
Pezanoski said she did not want to speak about the opinions of the board members, but she said some of the parents were very concerned about the project.
“Some became very emotional about the concerns of the truck traffic,” Pezanoski said. “Adding more truck traffic they felt would be a hindrance to the community.”
Some parents also were concerned about the stability of the district with the possibility of the project affecting student enrollment.
One of those concerned was Ann Baskerville of the Illinois Sierra Club, who was at Tuesday night’s meeting to see the resolution adopted. She said her reason for thanking the board on adopting the resolution was based on concerns of the potential impact to the environment and what that means for the children in the district.
“I think this sends a huge message,” Baskerville said. “These people are elected by the community and they are reacting to public comment that was made by the community.
Still, board member Brandon Lipke expressed his doubts about the impact of this resolution, although he did vote for it.
“As a board member, I don’t understand the necessity for this resolution,” Lipke said. “And I don’t know if this resolution will help or hinder the development of this project. Although I will side with the constituents and the community that all spoke and I congratulate you guys for doing that.”