The Springfield School District 186 School Board will host the first of three public meetings today on a proposal to construct a new school building that would explore the consolidation of three elementary schools: Hazel Dell, Laketown and Southern View.
The consolidation of Hazel Dell and Laketown was part of Our schools Our futurethe master plan for the facilities dating from 2017. Vue Sud entered the conversation as part of the proposal when architects began reviewing the building to consider updating some of the building’s construction, according to School District 186 Superintendent Jennifer Gill.
At its board meeting on March 21Micah Miller of Sub-District 2 requested a feasibility study for the construction of a building on the current Laketown site, including Hazel Dell and Laketown Schools.
A eight-page guide on the District 186 website includes a “site survey” by BLDD Architects, which has offices in Springfield and Decatur, of the three schools.
Additionally, Gill pointed out at the March 21 meeting the “structural gaps” that should be filled in each school.
Site analysis concluded that Laketown’s current location, which spans 3.4 acres, could not accommodate a student load greater than its current size. Building a new school on the site would create “long-term challenges for residents”, the analysis concludes.
Hazel Dell has “several characteristics” that make it “a less desirable long-term school site”, according to the analysis. Its “remote location” for students within the attendance limit is also an inhibitor.
The analysis highlighted that Southern View’s physical site is narrow and bounded by commercial and residential properties on three sides. The main core of Southern View, Gill Noteddates from the 1930s.
11th Street Property
According to guidelinea 13.2-acre site on 11th Street that is being considered has “the highest potential for a new school facility” that would serve about 450 students.
The district does not currently own the property.
The property is the former headquarters site of HD Smith Co. HD Smith was a private pharmaceutical wholesaler based in Springfield before being acquired by AmerisourceBergen in 2018. This property was not part of the acquisition.
Years ago this was the site of Fiatalliswho left Springfield in 1985.
The property “could allow expansion of both the facility and outdoor program areas,” according to the guideline.
He also talks about the site’s proximity to the center of the student population of Hazel Dell, Laketown and Southern View.
Gill cited enrollment declines at all three schools. Southern View is the largest of the three schools with 169 students. Hazel Dell and Laketown each have approximately 150 students.
When are the public hearings?
Here are the details of the three public hearings:
- Hazel Dell Elementary, 850 West Lake Shore Drive, 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 29;
- Southern View Elementary, 3338 S. Fifth St., 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 6;
- Laketown Elementary School, 1825 Lee Street, 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 12.
According to a District 186 spokeswoman, the public hearings will not be broadcast live.
Contact Steven Spearie: 217-622-1788, [email protected], twitter.com/@StevenSpearie.