The neglected Roos building stands as a blemish on this community that just won’t go away. Its unpleasant appearance casts a shadow over Forest Park as anyone who drives by can tell from the missing wall, garbage and graffiti. Not only does it look bad, but Steve Glinke, the village’s building chief, thinks this building could – and will – crumble to the ground because it has become so unstable. The collapse of a structure of that height could even cause debris to fall onto the Eisenhower Expressway, he said.

It’s been a very long wait but we are glad to see that some action is finally being taken to secure this property and make it safe. We hope those responsible will also quickly hire a structural engineer to further evaluate the space especially with winter snowstorms quickly approaching.

The park district, which continues to negotiate to buy the Roos, must be fully aware of the condition and stability of the building. It plans to retain part of the structure in its renovation plan. It does not seem entirely clear that keeping a section of the building is the best choice, given the state it is in. That’s why, as the first step, we encourage the receiver, Rally Capital, and owner, Harris Bank, to follow through on Glinke’s request for an engineer. The documentation this person could provide is vital in keeping everyone safe, as well as in guiding the park district’s plans.

Speaking of park district negotiations, what’s taking so long anyway? We understand that Harris Bank took on thousands of complex properties when taking over the failed Amcore Bank. But apparently a deal between Harris and the park district was hammered out in April. People are getting anxious, considering they will soon start paying for a property that is not even in the park’s hands yet. Forest Parkers want and need more answers to insure continued support of the current plan.


Looking at test scores

The Illinois Standards Achievement Test results were published this week. Since we’ve long been critical of an over reliance on standardized test scores, we are in agreement with District 91 Superintendent Lou Cavallo and his staff, who believe too much emphasis is placed on the scores from a single standardized test.

The district has put in place a range of more thoughtful and individualized assessment tools which allow teachers and principals to tailor instruction to each student, and to adjust the approach multiple times in the course of a school year.

That said, there is no positive spin to put on results displayed by Proviso Township high schools. The scores are downright terrible and remarkably just get worse. This is a truly failed and unaccountable school system.