The former Walgreens Accounting Building on Bowman Avenue will not become a part of Danville District 118 schools.

School board members concurred with the district’s recommendation, and voted unanimously to reject the offer by property owner George Novogroder, to accept the building as a gift. Only board member Randal Ashton was absent from the meeting.

The decision ended a discussion that has been ongoing in the district for the last 18 months.

The district organized a facilities review committee made up of community members this winter, which gave its recommendations to the board for long-term facilities planning. Part of the committee’s report was to accept the building.

Superintendent Mark Denman said the “valuable” property was a generous offer, but the district couldn’t accept it at this time.

“When the offer was first made, we were not in the economic climate we’re in and not dealing with the uncertainty of state funding,” he said.

Denman said the district would send Novogroder a letter thanking him for his patience with the district’s decision-making and architectural studies.

The building would have cost $3 million to $4 million to moth-ball. It was in need of mold remediation and a variety of other repairs including a new roof, new mechanical, electrical, insulation and plumbing systems. The facility is damaged from abandonment and vandalism.

The district would have spent up to $12 million to turn it into a fully-functioning school.

The building could have been used as an interim facility to house students during renovations at the district’s old junior high school buildings, East Park Elementary School and North Ridge and South View Middle Schools.

Denman said the district needs to be careful with what capital it does have until things settle down economically.

Denman also called for a long-term, comprehensive plan for the buildings that would price and prioritize the needed renovations or rehabilitations. In addition to the two middle school buildings and East Park, the district’s other aging buildings’ needs also must be accounted for.

Board President Bill Dobbles agreed that the district couldn’t put millions into the building at this time. He also said the district needs to move ahead, creating a plan of prioritized projects.

Denman said not all projects the facilities committee recommended — which included rehabilitating East Park and fully-renovating North Ridge and South View — could be done at once.

In a separate vote, the board voted to accept the facilities review committee’s report. The vote takes the report under advisement, but doesn’t obligate the board to put the recommendations into action.

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