School board approves building two new elementary schools - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

School board approves building two new elementary schools

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ROCKFORD (WREX) -

The Rockford Public School Board voted to move forward with building two new elementary schools as stated in the district's comprehensive Facilities Master Plan.

The vote was 6 to 1 with Lisa Jackson from Subdistrict A being the only no vote.

This move allows RPS 205 to continue its plan to build the new elementary schools which is part of a 10-year facilities plan.  The plan means eight schools will close and 13 others will be renovated along with the two new ones being built.

The motion was amended by board member Tim Rollins who made several stipulations: construction follows the proposed time frame, new furniture and deferred maintenance will be funded at other schools and operational needs of the district will be met.  Rollins' motion was approved.

You may recall, in August 2014, the Board approved the modified facilities plan based on the following circumstances:

  1. The construction time for building new schools will be driven by educational needs and outcomes for the entire District and the overall financial condition and needs of the entire District. The District will not incur any expense to build new schools as part of that revised plan until:
    1. passage of a referendum supporting construction of one or more new  schools;
    2. full report and recommendation by the Facilities Plan Oversight Committee regarding the feasibility of accomplishing the entire facilities plan within the allocated budget is presented to and approved by the Board at the Board's first meeting in December 2015; and
    3. in conjunction with that report and recommendation by the Facilities Plan Oversight Committee, a presentation is made to the Board of the final audited FY15 budget results, together with an overall presentation of the District's projected budget needs over the remainder of the facilities plan;
  2. the Board recommends that one of the District's elementary schools be named or re-named (as applicable) the "Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School and asks that this name be considered pursuant to Board Policy 4.152;"
  3. the administration will present an appropriate budget and make recommendations to the Board for new classroom furniture, as appropriate, for all of the District's schools;
  4. as it implements the facilities plan, the administration will also appropriately identify funds to complete the additional deferred maintenance - as identified in the facilities plan (i.e., currently estimated at $16 million);
  5. the administration will present an appropriate budget and make recommendations to the Board for the demolition or disposal of any buildings not covered by the facilities plan that are owned by the District and for which the administration determines the District has no expected use within the foreseeable future; and
  6. although not part of the facilities plan, the administration will continue to explore ways to air condition school buildings in the District that do not currently have central air Conditioning and where opportunities exist outside the facilities plan (through grants or otherwise) will begin adding air conditioning to those schools.
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