D181 finds new headquarters in Hinsdale

After searching for a new district office for seven years, Community Consolidated Elementary District 181 officials have found what will be their new home.

"We're going to start off the night with some exciting news," Rick Engstrom, assistant superintendent for business and operations, said at Monday night's board meeting.

After looking at 21 possible sites to lease and 18 to purchase, the district and its broker have found a building for sale at 133 Ogden Ave. in Hinsdale.

"This definitely checks all the boxes," Engstrom said.

The 13,275-square-foot building will cost the district $3.2 million to buy and another $4.3 million to renovate for a total of $7.5 million. The board voted 6-0-1 Monday to authorize the purchase, with board member Bill Cotter abstaining.

The formal due diligence period for the purchase ends July 21, with environmental and utility inspections, a review of leases, a title commitment and survey taking place.

The building has four tenants, three with leases that expire in 2023 or 2024. The fourth lease runs through May 2027.

"Negotiations started on Friday with that tenant to try to see if we can buy them out," Mike Duggan, facilities director, told the board.

The district would not need to seek any a special use permit or zoning text amendment from the village, Engstrom reported.

If all issues can be resolved, the closing date is set for Aug. 5.

The district's current lease for 12,000 square feet at 115 W. 55th St. in Clarendon Hills expires June 30, 2025. The district is paying $17,000 a month.

"That's a good deal," Duggan said. "When we were looking at rental properties, everything is a lot more than that."

Board member Margie Kleber pointed out that the purchase will save the district money in the long run.

"I'd like to just say thank you and congratulations," she said. "I know we've been working on this for years."

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Pamela Lannom is editor of The Hinsdalean