By Randy Pierce
Plans for a new structure to replace the existing Caseyville Elementary School, which was constructed in 1935, along with the addition of an all-new community library have been announced by Collinsville Community Unit District 10 with a target date for completion set at the start of classes in 2023-24.
The new side-by-side structures representing a partnership between the school district and library will be located on the same property where the existing buildings are now located and will be razed at 433 South Second Street in Caseyville.
Local school district funds and grants from outside sources will be used to finance the $19.2 million project. The new school and library will be located directly behind where the old library and school stand now with construction scheduled to begin in August.
Parking for vehicles and green space will be established for the area where the existing library and school building are currently situated. Holland Construction Services of Swansea is the general contractor while FGM Architects of O’Fallon is responsible for the design work.
The Caseyville school, consisting of 20 classrooms, has remained as it appears today for over 60 years with its last expansion having been completed in 1961.
The Caseyville Public Library was constructed in 1998 and its close proximity to the school was a factor in the decision by school officials when they began considering ways to create a new campus at this location that would encompass both facilities.
This led to the forging of a partnership between District 10 and the library which will result in improved accommodations for both it and the school. The deed for the library property was formally transferred to the school district in January of this year as part of an intergovernmental agreement between the two which includes a lease arrangement.
“Our library has a wonderful working relationship with Collinsville CUSD 10,” Library Director Ashley Stewart said.
Unit 10 Superintendent Mark Skertich expressed his appreciation for the cooperation shown by the library’s board and representatives, adding this was a vital component in the project’s forward movement.
As a result of this joint agreement, more Caseyville Public Library District funds can be focused in the direction of adding staff and expanding programs instead of building maintenance and upkeep, Stewart explained.
When the project is completed, the library will be 50 per cent larger and include rooms for studying and meetings, the latter accommodating 25 to 30 people, plus a special children’s zone with an interactive area, bilingual materials and signage as well as dedicated outdoor space for the Caseyville Community Garden.
The new library will provide access for students from the school from 8 a.m. until 11 a.m. before it opens to the public on its days of operation.
The school will feature accessible classrooms and facilities, a modern gym and cafeteria, conference room, more up-to-date restrooms and improved air quality. A large mural will be added to the new school lobby utilizing images of local students and upbeat messages in both English and Spanish. Outdoors there will be improved traffic flow for pick-up and drop-off for both passenger vehicles and buses during peak times.