imagesCHICAGO – State Senator Patricia Van Pelt is leading an effort to allow an early learning and youth development center to purchase the state-owned property it has occupied for decades from Illinois Department of Children and Family Services control, a move that would require General Assembly approval.

Last year, the Carole Robertson Center for Learning received approvals for this transaction from the Governor Pritzker’s office and DCFS. However, because the property is not in the surplus property queue, the transaction requires specific legislation.

“The Carole Robertson Center is in need of renovations that the state is simply unable to perform,” Van Pelt said. “Selling off state property is not a move anybody involved makes lightly, but in this case it is the right thing to do. Thousands of disadvantaged children on Chicago’s West Side served by the Carole Robertson Center will benefit from renovations that will now be possible to the site under the Center’s ownership. I am proud to lead the effort to support families in our community with this legislative action.” 

The Center, an early childhood education non-profit, was established in 1976 and today serves over 1,000 children and families annually. If passed, the sale will occur immediately. 

“The state doesn’t lose anything from this sale besides the physical property – children will still get all the same care they have from the Carole Robertson Center since 1976,” Van Pelt said.

The sale would remain valid as long as the Center uses the property for a public child care facility, or else it may be reclaimed by the state. The legislation is Senate Bill 2527, which is awaiting consideration before the Illinois Senate.

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