Summit Hill District 161 Leases Mary Drew School Space To Church

Just a few months after closing Mary Drew School, district officials voted Tuesday to lease some of the vacant classroom space to a church.

Summit Hill School District 161 board members approved a contract Tuesday night to rent several classrooms at Mary Drew School in Frankfort Square to Cornerstone Church.

“We’ve been working with the church to rent some space and decided to not make them wait another week,” said school board president Mary Kenny.

READ: How Much Money Will be Saved From Closing Mary Drew?

The school was shuttered at the end of the school year in June because of dwindling enrollment and to help the district cut its deficit.

Church pastor Arvid Svendsen said the church would use two classrooms for office space for church staffers and then make use of other classrooms and the school gym as needed for classes and activities.

“Most of our activities during the week take place on Tuesday and Wednesday,” Svendsen said.

READ: Check Out Patch's Section on the Closing of Mary Drew School

Cornerstone is an independent Christian church with about 200 members, Svendsen said.

Cornerstone was founded in 2003 and has conducted Sunday services at Lincoln-Way Central High School in New Lenox for the past nine years, Svendsen said. In that same time, the church has leased office space in a number of places.

“For the past two years, we rented space from Living Hope Lutheran Church in Frankfort, but that building was sold recently,” Svendsen said.

“They are not taking very much of the building, so we still have lots of space available for lease,” said Kenny.

The contract will bring in $18,400 for the district and it will run from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30, said district Supt. Barb Rains.

“It can be extended for a second year, if both parties agree,” she said.


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Johnny on the spot September 19, 2012 at 09:02 PM
I was saying that because My taxes on my properties go up every year and yet this what I get out of it .How much is associated to maintain the schools they have to pay school staff to monitor the buildings when in use right?????Also spend money on the upkeep why do they not respond to freedom of information acts As if they are bringing in the income from rentals does it support the upkeep the electric the gas etc......
Johnny on the spot September 19, 2012 at 09:03 PM
Also it was being sarcastic I know they dont get paid but it cost us to have the school monitored while activities are present right ???
Kerri U September 19, 2012 at 11:00 PM
don't believe it costs the schools money since they are not school activities. I agree that they should respond to FOIA request. They are definitely not blameless but I believe that in this particular situation, at least they are trying. Don't agree with everything they have done though. Sorry to have missed the sarcasm, I must have been having an off day. I agree that our taxes are ridiculous considering the economy and the trumped up home values that are stated on them. That would be for Joe Kral to answer though.
frankfort joe September 20, 2012 at 04:41 AM
Speaking of which try asking the frankfort township board how did they come up with 1.5 million cash to buy a condo complex with your tax dollars? senior center? Or a township retirement community for high ranking republican officials!!!! Google the lighthouse condo article in the southtown newspaper. Thats the place to get FIOAs
frankfort joe September 20, 2012 at 04:58 AM
I have been a long time republican here and tried to get on the list since my wife passed two years ago. The township supervisor told me the list has been full for quite sometime.But who gets first in the condo? The assessors father!! Come on folks this school board is saving money and the townships spends like there is no tomorrow. Maybe they bought the gym at Mary Drew?


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