Mt. Vernon Register-News

February 5, 2014

Opdyke-Belle Rive gets grant

By TESA GLASS
tesa.glass@register-news.com

---- — OPDYKE — The Opdyke-Belle Rive Grade School has been awarded a $21,000 State Maintenance Grant.

"The state offers different grants at different times," said Superintendent Debra Blakey. "You have to be diligent and look for the opportunities when they come available."

The School Maintenance Grant is provided by the Illinois State Board of Education. The purpose of the grants are to provide for the maintenance and upkeep of buildings or structures for educational purposes. There is about $18 million available for total grant awards throughout the state.

Blakey said the Maintenance Grant is a matching grant which offers districts up to $50,000 in matching funds.

"We asked for a total project cost of $42,000, and $21,000 was granted," Blakey said. "That means we will be putting $21,000 into the project as well as the grant."

The funds will be used to purchase and install a walk-in freezer, a walk-in cooler and a new stove. The cooler and freezer will be located outside the facility near the kitchen door; the stove will replace a 1950s model appliance.

"It still works, but not well for our needs," Blakey said. "We feed around 180 kids every day."

Blakey said the school district expects to receive the matching grant funds and purchase the appliances in time to be installed during the spring break.

"We hope to have it ready when the kids come back from spring break in April," Blakey said. "They will have a new way of doing things in the kitchen and cafeteria."