Illini Central CUSD#189 students will see expanded learning opportunities if a planned expansion to the building proceeds. The 7.3 million addition will add 25,000 square feet of space that includes flexible classroom space, a collaborative commons, a fitness facility and a gymnasium. The project also includes security upgrades that will be included in the construction of a new grade school office and a renovation to the middle/high school office.
The flexible learning space and collaborative commons will serve as a hub for students to work in teams and groups and conduct more personalized learning. Most older school buildings, including the IC campus, were built at a time in which these traits were not common nor were they emphasized. With the introduction of technology and the changing demands of the workplace, these learning opportunities have become essential to prepare students for life after school. The collaborative commons serves as a bridge between new educational strategies and approaches and the world outside of IC.
The space will create the opportunity for innovative instructional strategies to be implemented, for students to work in small groups, and for a variety of learning experiences that will challenge students and prepare them for the workplace. Student participation and engagement is encouraged through the use of work areas, furniture, and space through various configurations.
This project allows the district to respond to an ever-changing educational environment. While addressing the current needs of the district, it also positions faculty and staff to prepare for space needs that cannot yet be imagined. A commitment such as this communicates to students, staff, and the community that educational opportunities are vital, and the district is prepared to provide the resources to support an effective school.
In addition to the learning spaces, the addition will provide opportunities for expanded fitness class offerings and additional space for physical education and indoor recess. Currently, grade school students will have recess in classrooms when the weather does not allow them to go outside. The gymnasium will also serve as the home for middle school practices and games.
The project will be funded through a combination of existing district fund balances and a bond issuance of not more than $4 million. The bond is funded through the use of the County School Facility Sales Tax and will not affect property tax bills.