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|Study Recommends Avon, B-PC, Abingdon Consolidation
|UPDATED 1:42 p-m 2/1/10 Three area school districts contemplating the possibility of reorganization are now armed with a lot of information and a recommendation that they can act on or throw out.
The Avon, Abingdon and Bushnell-Prairie City school boards last year approved moving forward with a feasibility study to learn more about consolidation. The study was conducted by Springfield-based Midwest School Consultants on behalf of the school boards. Three University of Illinois at Springfield professors who are retired school administrators put the study together and released the results Thursday night at Avon High School.
Dr. Bill Phillips, who headed up the study, says three scenarios were considered and the recommendation is to have all three districts consolidate into one district. The other possibilities were Avon with Abingdon and Avon with Bushnell-Prairie City.
Another professor involved in the study, Dr. Len Bogle, says the buildings in the three districts are in great shape. The only big ticket item is at Avon's grade school, which needs a new roof that will cost an estimated $560,000. Bogle says each district would maintain an elementary school while there would be changes for the older students.
"If you go with a new district, the middle school students would be housed in Abingdon Middle/High School," Bogle said. "The current population is 359 (students), the building capacity is 530...plenty of room for more. The high school students would attend Bushnell-Prairie City. (The) current population (is) 546 (and) the building capacity is 680."
The study projects enrollment in a new, consolidated district would be around 1,700 students. It also notes that each of the three school districts is in good financial shape and the state would kick in some incentive money if the consolidation moved forward - up to $4.5 million.
Dr. Scott Day, the third member of the study team, discussed curriculum and suggested ways of implementing it in a single district. The study is being made available on each of the school districts' websites.
The three school boards are not obligated to follow the study's recommendation. The next step in the process is a petition to the Regional Superintendent of Education.
Hundreds of people turn out at Avon High School's gymnasium Thursday night to hear the results of a feasibility study related to the possible consolidation of the Avon, Bushnell-Prairie City and Abingdon school districts
One of the authors of the feasibility study, Dr. Bill Phillips, discusses the results Thursday night in Avon
(WGIL News Story and Photos by Mike Perry.)
|01 29 10 by Newsroom
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