Montessori school and daycare planned along Northwest Highway in Arlington Heights
A combined Montessori elementary school and daycare operator plans to renovate and expand a closed commercial building along the Northwest Freeway in Arlington Heights, which officials say will help meet demand for such a installation in the region.
Guidepost Montessori plans to offer daycare for children ages 6 weeks to 5 years and a private elementary school for grades 1 through 6 at 1000 W. Northwest Highway, just north of the intersection with Euclid Avenue.
Guidepost, which has suburban sites in Deerfield, Schaumburg and Naperville, is set to open other sites in Burr Ridge, Downers Grove and Kildeer. It plans to provide nine daycare classrooms and two elementary school classrooms for a capacity of approximately 200 children in Arlington Heights.
Mokena-based Olympia Acquisitions, the developer buying the one-acre site and leasing it to parent company Guidepost Higher Ground Education, is planning major upgrades to the 12,232-square-foot one-story building and an addition of 1 156 square feet on the northwest corner. Proposed improvements include a new roof, parking lot resurfacing, playground, fencing and landscaping along the property lines.
The property has been vacant since Windy City RC Raceway & Hobbies Shop closed in 2019; it previously housed a Plass Appliance store. In 2012 the village council approved a different nursery which would have had a smaller capacity, but this never came to fruition.
Village administrators were delighted when representatives from Guidepost and Olympia appeared before them this week seeking approval for a series of alterations and permits that will pave the way for the new school and daycare. The board voted unanimously on Monday to approve the plans.
“I didn’t know if I was happier that something was done with the building or that more child care centers were brought to our village. I guess I’m going with the child care part, because that’s really what has a impact on more people in our village than this building,” said Administrator John Scaletta, who noted that many parents struggle to find child care spaces in town, sometimes driving to nearby Palatine where he there is more availability.
Still, Scaletta and administrator Jim Tinaglia agreed that the site improvements will benefit the neighborhood.
“I remember when it was Plass, and I remember when it was the race track, and there’s always been its share of visuals that weren’t that appealing,” said Tinaglia, whose office d architecture is two blocks away. “What you’re going to do is really improve that. Everything I’ve seen is going to be a big improvement for this area, and I hope the neighbors benefit from that.”
Introductory monthly tuition will be $1,950 for infants, $1,700 for toddlers and $1,300 for daycare and elementary school, according to Guidepost. The daycare would be open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays.
The original schedule called for construction to be complete for the fall school year, but the developer is awaiting final sidewalk permit approval from the Illinois Department of Transportation — a process that could take six to eight months additional.