District 117 approves purchase of new building, Early Years to move to Central Office

By Blake Schnitker on March 22 at 9:04am

The Jacksonville School District is looking to make improvements to its Early Years program following last night’s school board meeting.

Members of the District 117 Board of Education approved the purchase of a new building located at 211 West State Street last night that will eventually be used as the center of operations for the district’s central office. Meanwhile, once the central office is relocated to the new building, the current Central Office building will be used solely for the district’s Early Years program.

District 117 Superintendent Steve Ptacek says that the addition of this new building will allow the Kindergartners who currently attend school at the Central Office building to now attend their home schools. That move will by concurrent with the district’s sixth grade students moving to the new Jacksonville Middle School.

Ptacek says 2018 is the year in which the district can apply for a competitive grant, and discusses the future of the district’s Early Years program.

“With this new building, we’ve applied to have a sizeable increase in our Pre-K program. We either had to move buildings and grounds out of the Central Office and move the Central Office back to where the building and grounds is, or move the Central Office – one of those two options to be able to then turn the entire main floor of the Central Office into a Pre-K center, an excellent Pre-K center,” says Ptacek.

The purchase of the new building will come at no cost to the taxpayer at all, and the total cost came out to $200,000. Ptacek also says the price of the new bleachers going in at the JHS football came in significantly under budget, which will help offset the cost of the new building.