Yorkville gets first look at proposal for a new Christian high school
By Steve Lord email@example.com August 30, 2013 3:40PM
The site for the new Christian School in Yorkville viewed from Ashley Road. | Steve Lord ~ Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 3, 2013 6:12AM
YORKVILLE — It appears aldermen support a proposal to build a new Christian high school here, but they admitted the plan needs some tweaking before it’s ready.
The City Council got its first look recently at the proposal to build the school on about 32 acres in the Prestwick of Yorkville subdivision at Route 126 and Ashley Road. The proposal comes from John and Michelle Stewart, who purchased Prestwick when the developer went bankrupt after building just handful of homes in it.
Aurora attorney John Philipchuck, representing the Stewarts during the public hearing, said putting together a proposal for the school and the rest of the subdivision is a dream for the Stewarts.
“We need to see how we can approach the City Council to achieve both dreams, if you will, of building a Christian high school and revitalizing a subdivision,” Philipchuck said.
Because Prestwick already was annexed to the city, the Stewarts are looking at amending the annexation agreement, rather than negotiating a new one.
At one point, they were looking at adding in some uses that might be possible revenue producers, such as a cell tower or a wind turbine. But Philipchuck said they took those out of the proposal, and would return to the council for individual public hearings and approval if they want them back in at some point.
The proposal also asks for uses not otherwise connected to residential zoning such as an equestrian area and stable, a retail sales use, a public address system, lighting and concessions ad restrooms for athletic fields.
Most people at the public hearing spoke in favor of the school proposal. Several ministers from the area spoke of the need for another Christian high school for the large number of Christian grade schools in the area to feed into.
There is already a Christian high school program in Yorkville, as Parkview Christian School operates in the city.
Another supporter who spoke was John Anthony, newly installed state representative for the 75th District. He said he wanted to support the Stewarts as friends, but also said he was speaking as a parent.
“I have four kids, and should this be built, my kids would go to this high school,” he said.
Even those with concerns about the proposal said they supported the concept of a Christian school. They said their concerns were about traffic on Route 126, and stormwater issues.
Aldermen said the same thing. The new school, which would take up about 84 lots of the original subdivision, will have a parking lot, and it could affect stormwater runoff to surrounding properties.
Alderman Carlo Colosimo, 1st Ward, said that should be addressed.
“I’m all for the high school,” he said. “But I want to work with the developers. If we do our job right as a City Council, we can get to an agreement.”
Alderman Larry Kot, 2nd Ward, said he would hope some kind of traffic control device can be put up on Route 126.
“Obviously, I’m concerned about the safety on 126, with high school kids coming and going,” he said.
Mayor Gary Golinski called the prospect of the school “a good amenity” for Yorkville.
“There are issues, but issues we can work out,” he said.