Huntley School District 158 reveals proposed boundary changes

Proposed changes would move about 600 Leggee students by 2017

HUNTLEY – A preferred attendance boundary remap in District 158 would move about 600 Leggee Elementary students over the next three years and free needed space at the overcrowded Huntley school next year.

Administrators from Huntley School District 158 said they prefer the option because it frees the most long-term space at the crowded Leggee Elementary over a gradual three-year transition. It also uses Route 47 to divide cleanly the district’s boundary lines at its five elementary schools.

At capacity, Leggee staffers moved some classes into converted computer labs this school year – a maneuver that upset Leggee parents who complained to the district board about inadequate amenities. The space constraints are why school officials need to readjust the boundaries by next school year, said Superintendent John Burkey.

“They’re using every available teaching space. ... We are at the point where we would have to increase class sizes at Leggee to make it fit,” Burkey said. “There’s no reason to do that because we have space in our other buildings. The time is now.”

Burkey led an almost 90-minute presentation on the proposed boundary changes during a recent board meeting, which was after he and other administrators worked with a California-based consultant to craft three possible boundary maps.

The district’s preferred option – “scenario one” – would move out the most Leggee students of the three options presented to board members. Although officials looked to affect the least amount of students, the option frees the most space at Leggee, Burkey said.

The preferred option also is not final. The district has scheduled two open houses March 2 and 3 at Leggee to allow the public a chance to view all three proposals and to suggest changes.

Board members will take a final vote on the proposals on March 19.

Working on a $16,000 district contract, consultant DecisionInsite analyzed district enrollment and area housing trends to develop the three proposals.

Currently with the largest geographic boundaries, Leggee Elementary is projected to be over capacity by 346 seats next year and by 607 seats in 2024, while the district’s four other elementary schools all should be under capacity within that span, according to district data.

The preferred remap would move 281 Leggee students to both Chesak and Martin elementary schools, and 330 Leggee students to Mackeben and Conley elementary schools, by 2017.

Tony Ferruzzo, a senior consultant with DecisionInsite, told the board that the district’s preferred option tried to move Leggee students to elementary schools closest to their respective neighborhoods.

Leggee students who live in the Georgian Place subdivision in Huntley would move to Chesak and Martin, while Leggee students in the Wing Pointe subdivision in Huntley would move to Mackeben and Conley, Ferruzzo said.

Students from Chesak and Martin eventually would feed into Marlowe Middle School in Lake in the Hills, while students from Mackeben and Conley would feed into Heineman Middle School in Algonquin.

Leggee students, meanwhile, would feed into both middle schools since it still would serve the largest geographic area – all west of Route 47 – under the district’s preferred remap proposal.

Currently, Leggee’s boundaries cover areas west of Route 47 and spill into neighborhoods, such as Georgian Place and Wing Pointe, east of Route 47.

“This whole thing is guided by overcrowding at Leggee. We have plenty of room at our elementary schools districtwide,” Burkey said. “The problem is the students are not in the right areas.”

How to voice opinions on boundaries:

• Open houses scheduled from 4 to 6 p.m. March 2, and from 6 to 8 p.m. March 3 at Leggee Elementary, 13723 Harmony Road, Huntley.

• District 158 residents also can email comments to boundaryfeedback@district158.org.