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Illini West Reviews Building Survey


It appears the public remains interested in the idea of a new Illini West High School.

The school district currently leases the former Carthage High School from the Carthage Elementary School District.

Superintendent Kim Schilson says overcrowding is an issue at the school because it was not designed for modern technology or the needs of special education services.

The district wants to build a new school to house its roughly 400 students, but the only way to secure state funding is to show local financial support.

Residents have voted down several attempts to help pay for the project, which prompted the district to conduct a survey to see where the community is in terms of building a new school.

Schilson says the primary response to the survey was that people want to see a new school built.

She says it comes down to money and location.

"The question becomes where is the building built," says Schilson, "and that has been the question all along.  Some people have a strong sense that it should be built in (Carthage) while others have a strong sense that it should be built more centrally-located."

The Illini West School Board recently shared the results of the survey and gathered more public comment.

Schilson says issues such as security, storage space, and multiple cafeterias came up during the input session.

She says the results of the survey and the last round of public comment will be considered by the school board during an upcoming meeting on how to proceed with a new school.

Illini West received about 250 surveys from residents.

Jason Parrott is a former reporter at Tri States Public Radio.