Name and logo approved for Jacksonville’s new alternative school

By Ryne Turke on June 16, 2016 at 12:26am

A new name and logo have been established for District 117’s alternative school.

Superintendent Steve Ptacek says plans are in motion to open the Crossroads Learning Center next school year on the downtown square.

The district entered into a five-year lease agreement earlier this summer. Board members approved a motion last night to extend the lease an additional five-years, if the school proves to be a viable asset to District 117.

Ptacek says the first three weeks of construction at Turner Junior High and Lincoln Elementary have been “tremendous”.

“You walk through Lincoln and it is a gutted building at this point and time. The entire auditorium is filled now and as you walk in it is leveled across with rock. They are actually putting the concrete flooring in for the new media center. Plumbing and piping systems for a new HVAC system are installed throughout the building,” says Ptacek.

“At Turner the multi purpose room is already taken down and the footings are being put in place for a new gym. That will open up in the fall. The sales tax revenue is having an impact throughout the entire district.”

Board members reviewed some “necessary changes” to make the budget more accurately portray expenses and revenues. Ptacek says the estimated end of the year fund balance will be between a minimum of $500-thousand and potentially up to $1.5 million.

“We have a $34-million a year budget for Jacksonville Public Schools. Having $20-million in our reserves, it is very important we remain at a healthy fund balance. As school district around the state talk about potentially closing their doors…If the state doesn’t get the educational budget solved and GSA doesn’t come in, we’ve made the determination we have the property tax revenue and fund balance to last for a year to two years without the state aid. We aren’t talking about riffing or closing doors at this point in time.”

Action items approved by board members include salary raises for District 117 positions and communication system contracts with Turner Junior High and Lincoln Elementary.

An official style guide for District 117, which was presented by the Mascot Review Committee, was tabled until the July meeting.

Board members will hold a special meeting on Wednesday at the Central Office to open bids for the Crossroads Learning Center sprinkler system.