DeKalb Park District to buy Kiwanis Park

DeKALB – DeKalb School District 428 board members unanimously voted to sell Kiwanis Park to the DeKalb Park District without any public discussion last week.

The vote ends a months-long saga over the fate of the 41.68-acre park at Fairview and South Fourth streets in DeKalb. The park district will buy the park for $625,000, the amount for which it was appraised about a year ago.

Superintendent James Briscoe said the school district and the park district are working out the technical details of the land purchase, including environmental testing. Briscoe hopes the school district will sell the park by the end of the month.

The park district will use its capital fund reserves to purchase the park with one payment.

School officials had once considered transferring the park to developer ShoDeen Construction through a land swap. The district would have received 33 acres ShoDeen Construction owned by DeKalb High School.

The deal met with strong opposition from local residents. School and park board leaders agreed to work together to maintain the park as open space shortly thereafter. The park is heavily used by youth soccer leagues.

The school district initially bought Kiwanis Park in August 2002 for $1.4 million when it considered putting the new high school there, but school officials said they no longer had plans for the property.

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