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College Of DuPage Likely To Close Restaurant, Create Lab For Culinary Students

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A high-end restaurant operated by the College of DuPage likely will be closing by the end of the month.

At a special meeting Thursday evening, College of DuPage board of trustees was scheduled to vote on a proposal to close Waterleaf, and turn it into an educational facility.

Under the plan, the site would reopen next spring as a full-time learning lab for culinary students. Until next year, culinary arts students would continue to use the facility two days a week, as they have been doing.

A COD spokesman said trustees also likely will vote on severance packages for 19 full- and part-time workers at the restaurant. Two other workers who had been on the already have found other jobs, according to spokesman Randall Samborn.

Waterleaf has been a money-losing proposition for the college. Records indicate the restaurant has lost more than $2 million since it opened in 2011.

The restaurant also was at the center of a Chicago Tribune investigation, which revealed COD trustees and senior officials had been dining at the pricy French-inspired restaurant, and charging the college, or using donated funds, to the tune of $350,000.

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