First here is a shot of what was the current proposed location.
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A general news summary can be found here. The web site of the group that is against the site is here.
I am not going to go into the motivation of the various parent groups, etc. I have my thoughts about that. But I am going to leave it at that.
What I want to look at is Midwest Generation decision to not sell it's land to the school district.
From a report in the Naperville Sun.
In that letter, Fred McCluskey, Midwest Generation’s vice president for technical services, says "it is now apparent that there is serious public opposition and a deep division within the community regarding the use of Midwest Generation’s property as the site of a new high school."
That opposition, McCluskey said, includes Neighborhood Children for Our School’s lawsuit against District 204, but also the lobbying of public officials, and a "grass roots effort that has disseminated incorrect, misleading, and potentially harmful information" about both District 204 and Midwest Generation."Consequently, it is our opinion that continued negotiations and the potential sale represent a threat to both the business interests and reputation of Midwest Generation.
So a power company backed off of the deal because of some local pressure. I suspect everyone who has ever tried to block a high tension line, power plant or any other action by a power company is going to come and try to figure out how in a little more than a month a power company changed it's mind.
The Daily Herald had some stuff about pressure and State Senator Linda Holmes the Herald also has a summary that includes a mention of her in regards to some quick take legislation that they tried to get passed last year.
So why? The OpenLine guys have some thoughts.
I am not buying their Weisner theory on it in the least, the part of town that is the most impacted in some ways by Eola site isn't really a factor in Aurora politics. Also I think the Eola site is better for Aurora than they other proposed locations and not building it at all doesn't do any favors for local unions a traditional base of support for Tom. So yes kids, I am in fact defending the mayor on this one.
As for Sen. Holmes she doesn't seem to have that kind of leverage. Trying to work it for the folks in the subdivision that seems to be in the center of the opposition doesn't seem to make a ton of raw political sense. it isn't that big. She doesn't seem to have ever raised much money from individuals who actually live in her senate district. Also I don't see how helping to at least delay if not outright kill a major construction project does you any favor with the union PACs (the painters are very active out here).
That being said, hers is the name that keeps coming up.
I hope the papers keep looking at this. Also there is now talk the church that owned the other parcel will consider selling all of their land, if so that can make things interesting again.
Regardless it looks like that students in that district are going to continue to attend school that quite frankly have too many students in them for a while longer, so it is them that may end up being the losers in all of this.