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Carlinville School District holds tour of donated property, seeks community input

Community members in the second building on the Aladdin Property tour hosted by the Carlinville School District on Sun. Feb. 4 from 1-3 p.m. Enquirer~Democrat picture by Erin Sanson.

 

By ERIN SANSON
Enquirer~Democrat Reporter

The Carlinville School District recently held a tour of the former Aladdin Steel property which was donated to the district. Shuttles took groups to the property from the High School to view the approximately 21-acre property.

There are five buildings on the property, only one with water, septic, and heat. An environmental study was done on the property. While results showed higher rates of metal than most properties, no immediate remediation is needed. The Eschbacher’s, along with donating the property, also gave the district money to do what they wished for the property, whether that be redevelopment or remediation.

The first building on the tour was used as a repair shop for equipment. The building is approximately 4,900 square feet.

Building two is multiple buildings connected, some of the parts of the building are the older buildings from Valley Steel days. The buildings are welded together rather than screwed together and the tracks for cranes remain in the space. The building does have some corrugated panels with asbestos in them that will need to be abated. It is approximately 64,000 square feet.

Building three is along the south boundary of the property. The building has no heat, water and has limited insulation. The building is approximately 23,000 square feet.

Building four is the western structure. It is approximately 40,000 square feet. It, like most of the buildings was being used for storage at the time prior to being donated.

Building five is the newest, and located closest to the school property as it is just south of the football field. This building was constructed around 1996 and is approximately 81,200 square feet. The building has insulation, a generator and a working crane but has no heat or water.

The outlined area shows the 21 acres that makes up the Aladdin Steel Property and the five buildings currently sitting on the site. Photo provided.

The purpose of the tour was to let citizens see the size of the property and to get input on how they think the property should be utilized by the district.

There have been many suggestions thrown out already, from creating a sports complex, a new bus garage, greenhouses or just using the space for storage. Some citizens want the district to simply sell the property.

The district began the process by requesting a small donation of property from Aladdin to make a turn around for middle school drop-offs. The district was then generously gifted the entire property. One citizen on the tour said she wanted the district to make the turn around area at the middle school as was the initial idea.

Another citizen on tour said that the property was a “incredibly generous gift to the district,” and felt it was very wise to get input from the community.

The district has hired Ken Miller as a consultant of the property to collect community input and decide a course of action for the property.

Superintendent Becky Schuchman says there will likely be another property tour in late February or early March but no plans have been confirmed. She also welcomes any organization that would like a tour of the space to have their President reach out to set up a tour. Schuchman can be contacted at 854-9823 or by email at schuchmb@cusd1.com