• Marklund looks to Expand in Elgin


    The plan would involve demolishing the existing building and constructing a 15,800-square-foot facility. That would be about three times larger than the building already on the property.

    The new building would host a community day services program to provide vocational, daily living, social and technology skills training for up to 36 adults. It would also house a day school for up to 30 children with disabilities. The school would focus on helping the children gain independence and improve communication and functional living skills.

    Marklund CEO Gilbert Fonger told the city's planning and zoning commission the original plan would have renovated the existing building. But the 2-acre footprint of the property fueled thoughts of being able to help more people with a larger facility.

    Fonger's organization serves nearly 300 people and has more than 500 staff members and 1,700 volunteers with existing facilities in Bloomingdale, Elgin and Geneva.

    "There are more needs," Fonger said. "That's why we decided to tear down a perfectly good building and build a new one."

    The property has residential neighbors. The Kennington Square townhouse community is across Summit Street to the north. There are single-family homes west and south. A wetland sits to the east.

    The plan includes a 6-foot-tall privacy fence to provide some screening for the neighbors.

    Commission members voted 5-0 to send a positive recommendation to the city council.

    "I think the plan is good in terms of helping satisfy the needs of these individuals in the community," Commissioner Steven Migala said.

    Migala asked if either city officials or Fonger were aware of any concerns from the owners of the neighboring properties. Neighbors have not come forward with any complaints so far in the process.

    The full city council must vote on the plan before moving forward.