Collinsville Community Unit School District #10 unveiled plans for a new Caseyville Elementary School to be completed in the 2023-24 school year.
The plans include an all new Caseyville Public Library building to be constructed alongside the elementary school. The side-by-side structures represent a partnership between the school district and the Caseyville Public Library District to better serve the Caseyville community.
The existing Caseyville Elementary, located at 433 S. Second Street in Caseyville, was built in 1935, with additions added in 1948 and 1951-61. The property covers four acres and has 20 classrooms. Recent demographic trends and essential infrastructure updates needed to make the school compliant with modern day learning led Collinsville Community Unit School District #10 (CUSD 10) leadership to explore options to finance and construct a new school building.
The current library, built in 1998, sits just outside the existing Caseyville Elementary grounds on Second Street. There has been an ongoing natural partnership between the two entities for years, but once CUSD 10 started looking at ways to utilize the land under and around the school to create a new campus, the location of the library became a key factor.
New School Campus Result Of Creative Intergovernmental Agreement
“We approached the library district about acquiring their land and proposed a partnership that would provide new, improved facilities for both entities. Absent of the district and library working together to serve our communities, this would not have been possible,” said Collinsville Community Unit School District #10 Superintendent Dr. Mark B. Skertich.
The new Caseyville Elementary School campus will be built using local and grant funding. The projected cost is $19.2 million.
The school district acquired the library property through an intergovernmental agreement (IGA). Following the official deed transfer in January 2022, part of the IGA between the district and library is a long term lease arrangement for the use of the current building and the new facility scheduled to be completed in December of 2023.
“Our library has a wonderful working relationship with Collinsville CUSD 10. We’ve partnered on supply drives and distribution events, having Co-Op students work at the library, local libraries involved with school registration events and many other programs and services,” said Caseyville Public Library District Director Ashley Stewart, “Cooperation in this situation wasn’t a hurdle, but it could have been. Members of both boards understand the importance of lifelong learning and the continuity of service for students, staff, and families.”
The joint agreement allows the Caseyville Public Library District to focus their funds on expanding staff and programs, instead of building maintenance and upkeep. The library will gain 1,500 square feet, making it 50% larger than today’s location. The new facility will include a study room, meeting room to accommodate 25-30 people, a special children’s zone and interactive area, bilingual materials and signage, as well as dedicated outdoor space for the Caseyville Community Garden.
The new library building will be steps away from the school building. Caseyville students will have exclusive access daily from 8:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. before the library opens to the public. Being next door provides countless opportunities to utilize the library’s resources.
Elementary School Is First Major Building Project In District Since 2003
The new Caseyville Elementary School and public library will be built directly behind the current buildings and face Second Street. The existing buildings will be razed and become parking lots and green space. Construction is scheduled to begin in August 2022. FGM Architects designed the campus. Holland Construction Services is the general contractor. Bids will be solicited beginning in early May 2022.
The school’s design provides an ADA compliant state-of-the-art learning environment with larger classrooms, adequate space for support services, a modern gym/cafeteria, dedicated conference room, improved restrooms and better air quality. In addition, organized pick-up and drop-off areas for cars and buses will improve traffic flow around the school during peak times.
The lobby will feature a large mural utilizing images of Caseyville students and positive messages shared in both English and Spanish. The goal is to reflect the spirit of the community and school district.
This undertaking to build a new school from the ground up is the first in Collinsville Community Unit School District #10 since Collinsville Middle School was constructed in 2003.
“The district is really excited about our partnership with the library. The benefits to our students and community is something both the Board of Education and Library District Board are committed to for years to come,” said Dr. Skertich.