A long wait is over for officials at District 86 in East Peoria.
Superintendent Tony Ingold said the district has been on a state list to receive funding since 2002. On Thursday night, Ingold received a phone call from Sen. Dave Koehler and Rep. Mike Unes letting him know the good news.
A long wait is over for officials at District 86 in East Peoria. Superintendent Tony Ingold said the district has been on a state list to receive funding since 2002. On Thursday night, Ingold received a phone call from Sen. Dave Koehler and Rep. Mike Unes letting him know the good news. Gov. Pat Quinn announced more than $17.4 million in capital funds for District 86. According to a press release, the funds are part of $400 million from the governor’s Illinois Jobs Now! capital program to construct new buildings, expand existing ones and replace outdated energy systems in schools across Illinois, while creating thousands of construction jobs. “Our children cannot concentrate on learning if they’re sitting in a school that’s crumbling,” Quinn said. “When I became governor, I initiated the first capital construction program in a decade to elevate our schools and universities to world-class status. The quality of learning happening in our schools will drive tomorrow’s economy. These school construction projects will not only raise the standard of learning in our classrooms, they will bring much-needed jobs to workers around our state.” East Peoria School District 86 will receive a state investment of $17,461,027 to be matched by a local share of $13,148,296. Ingold said they will use the funding as reimbursement for some projects that have already been done at Central Junior High School and Armstrong School and to build onto the junior high school. Ingold said the board of education just learned of the funding and they will work to create an action plan as they find out more information. After hearing the news, Ingold said he expressed his excitement to the legislators. Ingold said they went several years with no funding for school capital projects. “The timeline really surprised us. We had been holding on for so long,” Ingold said. Plans at the junior high will likely be a new multi-story building and the demolition of older parts of the building, Ingold said, to make room for more parking. By doing away with older parts of the school, Ingold said they should recognize some cost savings. “It’s an exciting time. We’ve still got a lot of work ahead of us,” he said. Twenty-four districts statewide will receive funding this fiscal year after their projects are certified by the Illinois State Board of Education and the Illinois Capital Development Board, according to the press release. These schools had been on a waiting list for committed state funds since 2003.