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Designs for New Silas Willard School Approved

WGIL Newsroom . Local News 186

205logobwThe Galesburg School Board has given its blessing to building a new Silas Willard Elementary School, despite one big concern.

The District-205 Board at a special meeting yesterday voted to approve the design development documents for construction of the new school, estimated to cost 18-million dollars by the time work is completed in 2016.

But, until the existing structure is torn down in 2016, there is a problem, as most of the board sees it: not enough parking for pick-up and drop-off of the school’s 400 or so students.

Craig Welter, a managing architect with firm Cordogan Clark and Associates says he knows parking will be significantly reduced during construction, but maybe the district’s idea to provide extra busing for Silas students will help.

“It will be a challenge the first week and all year will have its challenging moments,” Welter said.  “Having the ability to offer up busing may make people say ‘hey, I don’t want to deal with this’ and it will help a lot.”

District-205 officials say when they tried to reach out to Silas parents to get feedback about the potential parking issue, no one responded. That prompted board members to say maybe the district needs to undertake a P.R. campaign to help.

Fencing and gates to block off construction and teacher-only parking from the existing schools is expected to go up before school starts.