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Changes coming to Macomb school

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The trailers used for classrooms behind Edison Elementary School The trailers used for classrooms behind Edison Elementary School
Students in the trailer classrooms Students in the trailer classrooms
Edison Elementary School in Macomb Edison Elementary School in Macomb
Fire safety plan inside one of the trailers Fire safety plan inside one of the trailers
A classroom inside a trailer A classroom inside a trailer
MACOMB, Ill. (WGEM) -

The Macomb School District is moving money around to make way for an expansion project at Edison Elementary School after students have been going to class in trailers for years.

There are two trailers behind Edison Elementary School that house 4 classrooms. Fourth grade teacher, Sarah Nelson, has taught in the trailers for two years.

"One of the biggest challenges is it makes it a little bit more difficult for our children to travel in and out," Nelson said. "We add that travel time. If we were all in the building, we would be next to each other, and it would really save us some steps and some time."

Now, the school board has approved plans to add six new classrooms and expand the cafeteria. In order to do that, the district is selling $6 million in bonds, $3 million will go to the new construction.

"We're going to issue working cash bonds instead of the health life safety bonds," Superintendent Patrick Twomey said. "We'll get this work done and then we'll go right back to the cycle of health life safety bonds. 

Twomey said they will go 6 years without health life safety bonds so taxes don't go up.

"It will allow us to accumulate the cash necessary to do these projects without raising any taxes," Twomey added.

Twomey said one of the biggest benefits for getting rid of these trailers is increased safety for students.

"Even natural disasters, tornadoes, you have to figure out, in a timely way, to get kids out of trailers into the building and those types of issues," Twomey said. "Once they are in the building, everything becomes far more easier."

Nelson said having all of the classrooms under one roof would improve the learning environment for students.

"It would be a lot easier to do different activities with the students," Nelson added. "We could switch classrooms and do a lot more activities that way."

Twomey said the bonds should go through sometime in January and construction could start as early as May.

The Macomb School District is also asking for a high tax levy for the 2018-2019 school year. Twomey said they're asking for a 16-million dollar levy, compared to 14.7 million this year.

Twomey said expansions at Pella and McDonough District Hospital mean those companies are paying more in taxes, but the district isn't getting any extra. This still needs to be approved by the county.
 

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