Westbrook

School District: Built by Dist. 57, later leased to Northwest Suburban Special Education Organization

Grade levels: K-5

Built: 1961

Is it still standing? Yes

Is it still a school? Yes. District 57 took it back, did minor renovation, and now it is the district home of 1st grade and kindergarten.

History

Built in 1961, Westbrook was District 57’s third elementary school. In the mid 1990s, Following demographic and educational shifts in the community, District 57 decided to close the school and relocate the students to the newly constructed Lions Park and Fairview schools. In 1995 District 57 entered into an agreement with the Northwest Suburban Special Education Organization to lease the building for 10 years at a cost of $250,000 a year. The rent offset a $2 million renovation of the school and gave NSSEO space for a Behavior Education Center, the Orphanage Act Program, and a Technology Center. This move was met with strong opposition from neighbors of the schools, who worried about emotionally disturbed students in their neighborhood and were suspicious of the school’s security provisions. In 2003, District 57 began considering taking the school back to alleviate overcrowding in other schools. In the first two attempts, the referendum did not pass and the fate of Westbrook was still uncertain. Later, minor renovations were completed and now is the home of kindergarten and first grade for the District.

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