Decatur School Buildings Eyed For Changes


Decatur – The Decatur School District is starting to take a look at its buildings.  Tough decisions are ahead especially with one of the districts most popular schools.

The first school where decisions will have to be made is at Stephen Decatur Middle School.  The goal will be to better utilize it in the face of a lower student population. 

“As you know for the past few years our high schools have been housed there as their buildings were undergoing extensive renovations,” District 61 Superintendent Lisa Taylor told WAND’s Doug Wolfe.  “We had about 11 hundred students in the Stephen Decatur campus in that building and currently we have about 350 in that middle school.”

The second school of concern is the popular Johns Hill School which currently has a waiting list of 150 students.  The school was first built around 1925 and is falling apart.  It is a 3 story structure with no air conditioning and does not meet standards under the American’s With Disabilities Act.

“We will be looking at several options.  Do we relocate them?  Do we rebuild the building? Do we add on to another building that is possibly vacated?” Taylor said.

The current building has so many structural and internal problems a renovation may be out of the question.  A sales tax approved by voters, and used to renovate two high schools, is still providing revenue for the district and can be used for work on existing school buildings.

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