Mt. Vernon Register-News

September 19, 2013

Delays in Casey school expansion

By TRAVIS MORSE travis.morse@register-news.com
The Register-News

---- — MT. VERNON – Progress continues on the Casey Middle School expansion and renovation, but the project will likely not be finished until the mid-October to late-November time frame.

Superintendent Mike Green gave an update on the project’s status at Wednesday night’s meeting of the District 80 Board of Education.

He said because the expansion is taking longer to complete, the open house planned for Oct. 15 will be rescheduled to Nov. 7.

Teachers and students are now using the new Casey facility, but there are still minor improvements that need to be finished, including painting and fixture work, installing canopies, and more.

“There are little things (to finish),” Green said. “They don’t interfere with instructional learning, but they’re just not up to the specifications of the bid yet.”

The $6.5 million Casey expansion/renovation has been ongoing for about a year. The largest part of the expansion involved building a brand new, two-story addition for sixth grade students.

Also on Wednesday, the board adopted the 2013-2014 budget, which now has a projected deficit of $210,000.

In addition, the board heard a detailed report from Principal Shannon Marler on the state of the Primary Center.

She said enrollment at the center is now at 682 students, which is a strong total.

“Our enrollment is the highest I’ve seen it be,” Marler said. “We’ve jumped in with both feet this year and we’re off to a great start.”

During the Primary Center report, Assistant Principal Ellen Gibbs explained the new card system at the school, which ensures students are picked up by authorized guardians.

Parents are being issued special identification cards they will display when picking up their child from school.

Gibbs and Marler also mentioned the recent installation of security cameras at the Primary Center, and how speed bumps will be added to the parking lot soon to improve safety.

Other board actions Wednesday included:

n Hearing of a presentation about the recent Junior National Leadership Conference in Washington D.C.

n Hearing of a report on the spring 2013 Illinois Standard Achievement Test results.

n Announcement of three District 80 staff members having won state Those Who Excel In Education Awards. The staff members include teachers Amy Siefert and Denae Jones, and volunteer Wayne Pettit, who passed away last fall.

n Approval of a recent audit of District 80’s finances.

n Approval of two District 80 teachers receiving tenure. They include Michele Harpole and Marty Mellott.