Concerned Citizens to Present Options for Murrayville Woodson at Community Engagement Meeting

By Jeremy Coumbes on June 8, 2021 at 4:17pm

Residents of the Murrayville Woodson area who are concerned about Vision 117 plans for the elementary school have a chance to have their voices heard Wednesday night. A community engagement meeting has been scheduled for 7:00 pm at the Murrayville Methodist Church located at 504 Main Street.

Taylor Suttles is one of the organizers of the meeting, and she says anyone who has an interest in the Murrayville Woodson School and the impact the Vision 117 plan could have, should attend.

We have put this meeting together because we are concerned with the Vision 117 proposals presented to the school board in late April. In these proposals is the talk of potentially closing Murrayville Woodson School. So on Wednesday, we invite everyone to attend to hear our discussion regarding the proposals, and how we feel the school is a great facility and vital to the community.”

During the April District 117 School Board Meeting, Superintendent Steve Ptacek reviewed Phase 3 of the Vision 117 Plan for potential updates to school buildings. The phase centers on a proposed full remodel of the Washington Elementary School building, as well as options for the Murrayville Woodson Elementary School.

Suttles says the community engagement meeting will be both a presentation of information and a chance for attendees to engage with their concerns. “It will be a PowerPoint presentation. We will come across with some facts that we have recovered and then after that, we will open it up for questions. We have three proposals to potentially help Murrayville Woodson School and the remodel.”

The main portion of the Murrayville Woodson Elementary School building dates back to 1917 and is not ADA compliant. Options for renovation to the building in the Vision 117 plan include the potential demolition of part of the school to make room for a new addition and renovation complete with an ADA-compliant elevator.

Another option would potentially expand South Elementary in South Jacksonville to accommodate Murrayville Woodson students. Ptacek said following the school board presentation, regardless of the choice taken for either Washington or Murrayville Woodson, both buildings need serious attention with both needing continued repair and maintenance due to their ages.

Suttles says the group has ideas for potential renovations that would keep the school open. She says organizers hope many will attend. “I would just like for everyone to come and hear our thoughts on what we can do to keep our school and help it stay alive.”

The Murrayville Woodson Elementary School Community Engagement meeting will be held Wednesday, June 9th at 7 pm at the Murrayville Methodist Church in Murrayville.