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Old 10-21-2011, 08:38 AM
1 posts, read 1,445 times
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Hello - new to the forum. My wife might be starting a job at Northern Illinois University next fall. We are thinking about moving to the Geneva/St. Charles area. But, I have some questions:

1. Is traveling out to DeKalb in the morning and back towards Geneva in the evening going opposite heavy traffic? What is Route 38 like?

2. I am trying to find positions in Geneva/St. Charles/Aurora for myself. If that doesn't happen and I end up getting something in the city, how bad will the commute be?

3. Aurora seems to have quite a few businesses/manufacturers there. Is it a good location for someone in IT management/quality management?

4. The school districts in Geneva/St. Charles seem very good. Any advice or particular areas that offer more opportunities/facilities/etc. for students? (Primarily interested in elementary schools -- but a balanced K-12 district is a must.)

5. Are there any areas between DeKalb and Geneva that might be an option? (Like Campton Hills)?

I have searched this forum quite a bit and have found a lot of information. Please direct me to any threads you might think valuable and I look forward to hearing your advice/experiences. Thanks in advance.
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Old 10-21-2011, 02:06 PM
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Campton Hills used to be part of "unincorporated" St. Charles and is probably the best bet for some one unwilling to make a total plunge into DeKalb. It is a lot more uniformly developed than La Fox, Elburn or Maple Park. I know some folks that love those more "rural" areas but also some folks go nuts with the isolation.

The drive to Dekalb is technically more direct along 38, and if weather is OK not an overall bad route. It is over 20 miles though, and any bad weather can really drop speeds.

Unfortunately for folks that live west of 47 and try to commute to Chicago it is a crazy long way to get to employment in Chicago. Even if you can find a way to take advantage of Metra -- in really bad weather you pretty much end up sacked out in a hotel or co-workers house... At least in Campton Hills you're less than 10 miles from Geneva Metra and in all but a blizzard that is about 25 minute drive...

I know some folks that have worked in the manufacturing sector and despite the appearance of things there are just depressingly few opportunities in the region. Most folks I know have either moved into management or had to relocate to areas with more opportunity. High costs mean that firms look for every way to reduce head count and get more automation into the plants. Once the initial "dial in" on the automation is done that leaves very few skilled jobs in the plants... Other opportunities exist for more traditional office IT in the Fox Valley / Naperville, but the reductions at Fermi and overall slow economy is not helping the region.

Numeric differences in the test results as well as perceptions do exist that come up from time to time. The performance of the schools was probably highest when employment in the telcomm and other sectors was booming. The sad reality is that some of the most motivated families have moved away. There are still lots of people for whom the Kane Co seat of government will always remain a solid source of income and there are generations of Fox Valley families that will call either St. Charles or Geneva home. The effects of tight budgets are inescapable... Property values have fallen and taxes are no bargain. Geneva 304 is physically more compact and has fewer schools, performance is quite solid. St. Charles 303 is bit larger, a bit more schools, and a wider range of school performance. I believe Kaneland 302 covers some of that area too, smaller number of schools, not performing quite as well numerically, though there are probably some folks very satisfied with the trade-offs...
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Old 10-21-2011, 10:49 PM
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Good luck finding employment out here in the tri cities (St. Charles, Batavia, Geneva) it is kind of lame and has been since we moved here 20 years ago. Schools good though, jobs here very difficult to find good paying ones. Everyone I know that lives here does NOT work here, they either work in Naperville/Aurora/Warrenville or in Schaumburg/Hoffman.

Your best bet is to try to find a position in Naperville or Aurora right off the 88. Easy to get into Dekalb from there.
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Old 10-22-2011, 05:25 PM
Location: Greenville, SC
4,044 posts, read 3,280,298 times
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Originally Posted by gardener34 View Post
Your best bet is to try to find a position in Naperville or Aurora right off the 88. Easy to get into Dekalb from there.
I live in Naperville near the Route 59 train station (right off I-88); from my house, it's about a 40 minute drive to NIU, and about an hour's commute to Union Station in downtown Chicago, including the drive to the train station. If you live in southern Naperville (south of 75th street), it's a much longer commute. Naperville schools are top-notch, by the way.

There are a lot of companies off Diehl and Warrenville Roads; I think that would be a better bet for finding an IT position in the Aurora-Naperville area than Aurora itself. I'm in IT myself, but I work in downtown Chicago. If you're looking for a manufacturing job, not a lot of those in the Aurora-Naperville area, though there are some warehouses.

If it were me, I'd plan on renting for a year or so until I got the lay of the land. There's an Extended Stay America right off I-88 and Diehl Road and that might be a good option for trying out the commuting options on a short-term basis, and there are a lot of apartment complex within a ten-fifteen minute drive of the train station.
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Old 10-25-2011, 12:01 PM
Location: Sugar Grove, IL
3,131 posts, read 10,281,145 times
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we live in sugar grove and the commute to dekalb is about 20 min on I88. commute is about 25 minutes to naperville. there is such a vast number of homes available in kane county, that it would be worth your while to really do some serious checking. price ranges are pretty wide ranging too. as far as schools go, st charles and geneva score higher marks, but they also have higher enrollment numbers at their high schools. there is a different mindset in the western part of the county vs the river towns. the best bet is to investigate for yourself.
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