The District 155-47 Transportation Co. on Aug. 30 parked school buses in the grass adjacent to CL Central High School along Walkup Avenue, where several "No Parking" signs are posted. Photo: McHenry County Blog.
City council members on Tuesday night discussed the action by District 155 and the Transportation Joint Agreement 155-47 to move the entire bus fleet from TJA headquarters at Crystal Lake South High School, 1200 S. McHenry Ave., to Central High School, 45 W. Franklin St. on Friday, Aug. 30.
District 155 moved the buses in anticipation of a large spectator crowd for the Crystal Lake South Gators season-opening football game- which also was the first game held with the new $1.18 million bleachers at Ken Bruhn.
"We woke up Saturday morning to a new school bus parking lot at Crystal Lake Central High School," Crystal Lake Mayor Aaron Shepley said during a recent September council meeting. "Buses were parked on the front lawn, near the Little League fields, and along the side of the school."
Other council members disapproved of the move.
"They moved every bus over to Central and parked on the grass; it was ridiculous," Council member Ellen Brady Mueller said. "We worked hard to (post signs) in that area for no stopping, standing and parking."
City officials said they will send a letter to the district asking they comply with posted parking-restriction signs adjacent to the school.
District 155 Communications Director Jeff Puma on Wednesday said the district has no plans to transfer its bus fleet for future South High School football games.
"We only moved buses that first game," Puma said. "We were anticipating a big crowd that night because of the new bleachers and all the media attention. "
The Friday night game was cancelled due to stormy weather, and rescheduled for the next day. The Saturday make-up game against Marian Central Catholic High School drew considerably smaller attendance than a typical Friday night game.
City and school officials have been on opposite sides of the fence since the bleachers were installed this past summer. Neighbors living adjacent to the new structure have filed a lawsuit against District 155.
Opposed to the stadium's size and proximity to their property lines, the neighbors want the school district to apply for the necessary zoning variations and proceed through the review and approval process before the city.
District 155 officials, who maintain they obtained the proper authority from the county's Regional Superintendent of Schools to build the bleachers, subsequently filed third-party suits that brought the city and the Regional Superintendent into the legal battle.
All three sides meet in court again on the matter on Nov. 7, before Judge Michael Chmiel.