Gas leak prompts partial evacuation at school

Students and staff at Proviso East High School were relocated from the northwest side of the building last Thursday after a gas leak was discovered along 1st Avenue. According to a written statement from the school district, construction workers cut a gas line in the street at about 7:30 a.m. near a crosswalk leading to the school’s Tower Entrance. As a safety precaution, gas to the building was shut off and students were routed toward other entrances at the school. While repairs to the severed line were made, classes normally held in the northwest portion of the building were relocated elsewhere on campus.

A spokesperson for the gas company, Nicor, said crews were onsite immediately and the pipe was repaired shortly before 11 a.m. Any evacuations in the area were precautionary, according to the spokesperson, and were not initiated by Nicor.

Food service personnel made arrangements to serve sandwiches during the lunch periods and school remained in session until 3:15 p.m.

Facelift garners civic pride award

Sheri Ladd recently completed a renovation and expansion project at the Harrison Street Café, and earned herself a Pride Award from the Main Street Redevelopment Association. In just nine days, Ladd replaced the flooring, electrical work and made a number of aesthetic improvements. The restaurant’s seating capacity was expanded from 32 to 80, a dinner menu is now available and plans are in place to open an outdoor seating area.

“It was like extreme home makeover,” Ladd said referring to the popular network television show in which entire homes are rebuilt in a week.

Pride Awards are given annually to those homeowners and entrepreneurs who demonstrate a commitment to investing in the community. Main Street handed out its 2007 honors at its annual meeting on May 2.

Paperwork snags vote on Roos project

A final vote on the residential redevelopment of the vacant industrial property at the corner of Circle Avenue and Harrison Street was delayed this month when the developer failed to submit engineering drawings in a timely fashion.

According to architect John Schiess, a consultant on the so-called Roos project, the development team was tardy in providing several documents to the village as part of a final review. The project that includes 70 condominiums and 28 townhouses was expected to appear before the village council on Monday.

“The reason for it is a paperwork issue,” Schiess said of the delay. “A review of the engineering drawings wasn’t turned around in time.”

The plans to rehab the vacated industrial site were first presented to the public in September of 2005 and have since undergone three major revisions. Though the original project called for some 200 residential units, opponents of the plan have said the current proposal could still overburden the neighborhood with its vehicular traffic and parking needs.

In addition to the 98 residential units, the project also calls for some street-level commercial space.

In April, members of the council voted 3-2 to instruct the village attorney to draft a resolution approving the development. At Monday’s meeting, however, three newly elected commissioners were sworn into office, making it more difficult to predict whether the body will sign off on the project. Schiess said he has every confidence that a groundbreaking will be celebrated soon.

“We are at the point of it not being a matter of agreeing or disagreeing, it’s just a matter of getting the paperwork in,” he said.

-Compiled by Josh Adams