The St. Clair County Board has OK'd Lindenwood University's plan to demolish the former Harmony School Building and build a track and field facility on the site.
The board unanimously approved the proposal during a meeting Monday evening at the St. Clair County Board meeting in Belleville. A special permit was needed because the proposed facility is within a residential area.
Lindenwood hopes to build the facility on about 12 acres located at 500 Wilshire Drive in Belleville. Construction of the facility is anticipated to take at least a year.
The facility is planned to be state-of-the-art with a track, soccer field, along with areas for high jump, javelin, shot put, hammer throw and discus events.
Lindenwood will use it for practice and hold about six track meets throughout the year. A grandstand will hold up to 500 and parking will be available for 218 vehicles and up to four buses.
The first step would be purchasing the site from the Harmony-Emge District 175 school board. The school district approved an agreement July 28 to sell the site to Lindenwood for $1.
Lindenwood previously purchased the former Belleville West High School for $1 from Belleville District 201. The university has grown significantly since opening its doors about 10 years in Belleville with more than 2,200 students anticipated to attend classes this fall.
The university estimates its Belleville location along with students and staff have invested more than $114 million in the Belleville economy in the past four years.
In other news, the board OK'd raising fees related to automated court filings. The fees, which are paid when a court filing is first made, will increase from $5-$10 to $25. The fees are set under state statute and are expected to generate more than $75,000 annually, according to County Administrator Dan Maher.