Expansion, renovation plan gains 63% voter support

Voters in the Union Grove Elementary School District got behind a nearly $8 million plan to expand, reconfigure and maintain the K-8 school during Tuesday’s election.

The referendum garnered 63 percent approval, passing 1,484 to 870, according to unofficial totals posted by the county clerk’s office.

The goal of the $7,995,000 referendum, according to district officials, is to address maintenance concerns, add classroom space and remodel existing space to create a more flexible and modern learning environment.

Joint School District No. 1 serves students and families from Union Grove, Yorkville, Dover and Paris.

The planned maintenance projects will address systems that have exceeded their expected life span, officials have said. In addition, a four-classroom addition will be constructed to allow the fifth grade to be moved back to the elementary school side of the building.

The additional space will make it possible for several areas of the existing building to be repurposed as flexible learning spaces that meet the varying needs of students, according to the district.

District Administrator Brenda Stevenson had said the school was at a crossroads in which it had to decide whether to take advantage of relatively low construction and financing costs now, rather than waiting two years for the district’s previous construction-related debt to be retired.

To read the full story, see the Nov. 9 edition of the Westine Report.