KANKAKEE — The eyesore that was once the Kankakee Nursing & Rehabilitation Center will one day be a parking lot for Kankakee High School.
Kankakee School District 111 purchased the former nursing home property, which stands on four acres at 1050 W. Jeffery St., on Sept. 19 for $3,000 through a tax deed auction. It also purchased a house at 245 Warren Ave. that same day for $12,000.
On Monday, the school board unanimously agreed to close on both sales.
Superintendent Genevra Walters said the district intends to demolish the buildings at both properties and turn them into parking lots. The high school is neighbors with the old nursing home, and the home on Warren Avenue is near the Lincoln Cultural Center.
"We want to extend the high school's campus so there is more parking in the area," Walters said. "That building is just sitting there, and we are going to need help with demolition. We are going to seek some support there."
The nursing home closed on Oct. 15, 2005, because of extensive damage to the building. Former owner Robert Kaplan told the Daily Journal at the time that the home lost $300,000 annually during its final three years of being open. Since then, the abandoned and boarded-up 43-year-old building has fallen into further disrepair.
Walters said there isn't a timeline yet as to when the demolition of both buildings will occur.
"Right now, we are focused on getting this first step complete," she said. "We are going to keep looking for opportunities to add more parking space at our schools."