West Prairie School District Breaks New Ground on Junior / Senior High School Update



COLCHESTER, Ill. (WGEM) – An outdated tri-state high school is being replaced with a new one.

It will include new science labs, classrooms and more space for technology.

Teams are renovating the old West Prairie Middle School in Colchester, at 600 S. Hun St., into a new junior / senior high school.

Superintendent Guy Gradert said the current Sciota High School was built in the 1950s. He said it doesn’t have good security or modern technology, nor does it have a cafeteria. on the spot.

Gradert said it did not meet state safety standards and that its repair would cost more than $ 3 million.

“To me, a building tells our kids a lot about what we think of them and how we value them,” Gradert said. “We need an improved electrical wiring system to keep the technology going. We need school security systems. We need school surveillance systems.

Junior Ava Kilburn has said she looks forward to moving into the new high school building next fall.

“Looks like we’re going to have two gyms, a whole new cafeteria, some cool new classrooms,” Kilburn said. “And I’m super excited for that and I’m so excited to see how it’s going to go.”

Junior John Reynolds said he was happy the new building was in Colchester.

“For me it’s a longer trip to get here, so just being able to drive shorter is the most important part for me,” said Reynolds.

Sophomore Ava Beck believes these new features will improve student learning.

“The new classrooms and the new environments we find ourselves in will enhance the development of our education,” Beck said.

High school principal Caitlin Watson believes students will benefit from a building that has more teachers in one location.

“Due to the distance before, with college and high school being separate, we have not been able to maximize this impact on student learning,” Watson said. “So by bringing teachers aged 7 to 12 together, we will be able to maximize the impact on student learning. “

Gradert said students and staff will be able to move into the renovated building next fall.

He said the bonds are funding the project which will cost around $ 10 million.

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