School buses and parent carpools will soon be swarming three schools in the metro-east that weren’t around at the end of the last school year. Two new elementary schools will educate nearly 600 students; and private high school Father McGivney moved from Maryville to Glen Carbon.
The new Wingate Elementary School features common learning areas in each pod, a large sunlit library and a playground with kickball and soccer fields.
Wingate Elementary will open Aug. 13 to 265 kindergarten through fifth-grade students to alleviate overcrowding at Mascoutah Elementary. Both are part of the Mascoutah School District. Last year, Mascoutah Elementary had nearly 1,000 students, said former principal Randy Blakely. He is the principal of Wingate.
Wingate has “common learning areas,” which are the central room in each pod of six classrooms. Each pod contains two grades with two classes each, a special education room and an RTI room. The common learning areas will be for special projects or experiments, and teachers can bring classes together there for speakers as well, Blakely said.
“We think it’s a very modern school, it’s going to meet the needs of the 21st-century learner,” said Mascoutah Superintendent Craig Fiegel. “Right now, it has more space than we need ... but eventually we’ll need that additional space.”
In the future, Blakely hopes to add awnings and picnic tables to the bus drop-off courtyard. There’s also an assisted living center across the street that will have his attention.
“I’m planning on hitting them up big,” he said, for community service projects.
Building cost: Total cost was about $26 million, says Superintendent Craig Fiegel. The building construction was about $19 million; land acquisition, mine remediation and other professional services made up the rest.
Paid by: Alternative revenue bonds, which will be paid from the district’s general fund. Fiegel said the expectation is that the Tax Increment Financing district at Wingate will eventually generate enough revenue to make the annual $2 million bond payment.
“At this time, the reimbursement hasn’t built out yet and there isn’t any commercial (at Wingate), so the TIF isn’t generating,” he said.
Where: Located in Shiloh, on the western boundary of the school district.
Enrollment: 265 now; current capacity is about 550. A fourth pod is a constructed shell that can be finished with walls and floors later and accommodate another 300 students, Blakely said.
Lebanon has built a new elementary school.
Building cost: $8.1 million for 25 classrooms and a multipurpose room that will serve as the gym and the cafeteria.
Where: Moved about a block, still on West Schuetz Street in Lebanon.
Enrollment: 330; the district has 650
Father McGivney Catholic
Madison County’s first new Catholic high school in more than 80 years is set to open this fall.
Father McGivney Catholic High School began as a volunteer group of parents and Catholic leaders, conducting studies and surveys to see if there was enough support for another Catholic high school in the metro-east. Studies led to a capital campaign, and classes began in temporary space at St. John Neumann Catholic School in 2012.
With a growing enrollment, Father McGivney broke ground last fall for the first new Catholic high school built in the Catholic Diocese of Springfield since Marquette was constructed in Alton in 1927.
The 53,000-square-foot Glen Carbon building has been under construction for the last year. It has more than a dozen classrooms, a gym, chapel and student lounge, with plenty of room for future expansion.
The school had only 19 students in its freshman class when it enrolled the first class in 2012. It has grown each year, to an enrollment of 91 students in three grades last fall. Two weeks ago, volunteers helped move materials and equipment out of their old headquarters to the new building, in preparation for the first day of school on Aug. 20 with a formal dedication ceremony on Aug. 30.
Building cost: $7.5 million
Where: Located at the corner of Old Troy and Bouse roads
Other school projects in the metro-east:
Belleville East High School: Blacktop and additional marked parking will bring total parking at the high school to 825 spaces at a cost of $540,000.
Harmony Intermediate Center: Space was adjusted this summer to allow for a separate principal office for the new Harmony Intermediate Center from the Emge Junior High within the Emge building. The transportation office moved, and part of an actual school bus was added over the office door with matching bright yellow paint on either side.
New Athens: Volunteers are raising money for a new marquee at the school that they hope to have installed at the start of school, Superintendent Brian Karraker said.
Smithton Elementary: The Parent Teacher Organization raised nearly $20,000 to install a sunshade on the playground, finished in late July.
Superintendent Sue Homes said it’s about 35 feet in diameter and covers playground’s main playground structure.
“I was so excited when I walked under it. You can really feel the relief from the heat under that,” Homes said.
Collinsville Unit 10: Improving security at Collinsville High School and some elementary schools is an ongoing project, including redirecting all visitors to a secured entrance, more security cameras and securing outside doors, as well as other safety features. The work is expected to be completed by the start of school on Aug. 11
Edwardsville District 7: Projects include replacing windows at Nelson Elementary; replacing flooring and bleachers at Lincoln Middle with asbestos abatement; repairing and repainting at EHS South; replacing air conditioning unit at EHS; repairing scoreboards at the sports complex.
The cost is $455,160. The work is completed.
Granite City District 9: Major renovation is being done to Granite City High School cafeteria for the students’ dining area. The cost is about $120,000 from renovation bond funds.
The work is expected to be finished by the start of school on Aug. 19
Venice District 1: The district will replace boiler system with rooftop HVAC system; add new windows; complete asbestos abatement. The cost is about $1.8 million for a two-year phased project.