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May 25, 2024

School District closes building citing financial concerns then purchases additional property –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On August 29, 2017


Updated Scribner’s error on the dollar amount the school claimed it would save.

The Hoopeston Area School District #11 closed its Honeywell elementary school earlier this year citing financial concerns and alleging it would save the district close to 250k annually.

Their official website lists the superintendent’s compensation at over $159, 927 per year.

Just as this school year started, the Board of Education held a special meeting on August 22nd to “discuss the purchase of a piece of real property or properties” – and according to the Special Notice, the meeting was to go directly into executive session pursuant to Section 2(C)(5) of the Open Meetings Act for this discussion.

The notice was dated August 19, 2017.

Oddly enough, the notice posted on the school’s website only listed “discussion” of land purchase, while the Agenda posted at the meeting place listed the action item to vote on purchasing real estate. While what happened at the meeting did not necessarily violated the Open Meetings Act, it certainly creates the appearance that the school board was not entirely forthcoming with informing the public of the actions it would vote on at the special meeting.

The Board came out of executive session and voted to purchase a piece of farm property, just to the west of the school, for the purchase price of $112,000.

It is unfortunate for those who relied on the school’s website for meeting notification information, as the original notice did not include a vote for purchasing real estate. To top that off, the Agenda was not posted on its website for this special meeting even though their regular meeting agendas are posted online.


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  • James J Pancrazio
    Posted at 08:15h, 30 August Reply

    Is there an educational justification for the purchase of farm land? Or, are they planning to build a new school on the property?

  • Elizabeth Gruber
    Posted at 08:39h, 30 August Reply

    Who owns the land and are they connected in some way to the board?

    • jmkraft
      Posted at 08:41h, 30 August Reply

      It was owned by a church that currently meets in an old building downtown.

  • Old Dude
    Posted at 13:24h, 30 August Reply

    Isn’t this exactly what they did with the old High School in Paris? Said it was too expensive to fix, then when they got the money for the new school, they sold the property to the City for a Buck if I remember correctly. Building still stands and the city has plans to make money off of it.

  • homer
    Posted at 19:58h, 30 August Reply

    Closing the building also allows the district to avoid investing considerable amounts of money into repairs needed in the building that would have equalled up to close to $668,000 when they became necessary in the next few years.

  • Inspector
    Posted at 06:26h, 01 September Reply

    Total lack of underhanded transparency and gross disrespect to the taxpayers by that school board and the board members! Hoopeston used to be known for its disgusting, foul smell ….. the terribly foul odor now? The Hoopeston School Board!!

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