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Superintendent: New Middle School More than Just a Building for Macomb

Rich Egger
Superintendent Patrick Twomey said ground could be broken as soon as next month for the new middle school.

The Macomb School District is one step closer to breaking ground for its new middle school just south of the current junior-senior high school.

.The Board of Education agreed to hire Hein Construction Company to build the school. The company, which has offices in Galesburg and Peoria, submitted the low bid of $17.8 million. Superintendent Patrick Twomey said that was the low bid by more than $1 million.

“It was more than I wanted to spend but less than I thought it would be. It’s kind of in that happy sweet spot. It’s very doable for us financially and we’re just ready to move ahead now and get dirt moving and a middle school built,” said Dr. Twomey.

The district has already issued bonds to pay $9.5 million of the cost. Twomey said the district might borrow the rest too because interest rates remain quite low.  The bonds will be repaid with revenue generated from the county’s one-cent sales tax for schools.

He said the district also has enough in cash reserves to help pay a portion of the cost.

Twomey said it is possible they will break ground for the project before the end of next month. He expects the building to open at the beginning of the 2022-23 school year. He is excited about completing the project.

“This is solving a 30-year old problem this community has had in terms of these schools being overcrowded,” Twomey said.

“(And) it is more than just a building for Macomb. It is about having the ability to fully implement an educational system that we know is best for kids.” 

The building will house sixth through eighth grade students. Twomey said the school will be built in pods with one for each grade level. Each pod will have its own restrooms, teacher work space, and designated science lab. 

He also said the entire sixth grade pod will be tornado resistant. He said there will be enough space in the pod for all of the building’s students and staff during a tornado or other severe weather event..

This story was produced by Tri States Public Radio.  TSPR relies on financial support from our readers and listeners in order to provide coverage of the issues that matter to west central Illinois, southeast Iowa, and northeast Missouri. As someone who values the content created by TSPR's news department please consider making a financial contribution.

Rich is TSPR's News Director.