By Devese “Dee” Ursery
Collinsville Community Unit School District 10 broke ground last week on the new Caseyville Elementary School.
The new school will be built directly behind the current building and face Second Street. When the new school is completed, the existing building will be demolished and used for parking and green space. There will also be a public library built to connect onto the existing library that is already in place.
At 11 a.m. Jan. 5, district officials, supporters and members of the community held a ceremony to commemorate the beginning of the new school. There will also be a public library built to connect onto the existing library that is already in place.
CUSD 10 Superintendent, Dr. Mark B. Skertich spoke on what it took to get to this point.
“We are excited to see the construction of a new Caseyville Elementary begin,” Skertich said. “We look forward to the positive impact the facility will have on our students, staff and community for years to come.”
Skertich said that the project was a team effort bewteen the board of education, district staff and partners from FGM Architects and Holland Construction.
According to a press release from CUSD 10, the new school’s design provides an ADA compliant state-of-the-art learning environment with larger classrooms. The new school will also have sufficient 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 hours, per the release.
Plans for the lobby will feature a huge mural using images of Caseyville students and positive messages shared in both English and Spanish. The goal is to reflect on the spirit of the community and school district, according to the release.
Plans are also in the works to build a new Caseyville Public Library alongside the new school. The side-by-side structures represent a partnership between CUSD 10 and the Caseyville Public library District to better serve the Caseyville community.
Ashley Stewart, library director for Caseyville Public Library District explains the impact of city government and community working together for the greater good of the community.
“This building project is an example of the interconnected systems framework in action,” Stewart said. “Progress is made when local governments share the same vision and work together to meet the needs of the community.”
Stewart also pointed out that services and resources for city residents are provided in a coordinated and coherent way and the impact is viable.
The original Caseyville Elementary School was built in 1935, with additions added in 1948 and 1951-61. Important infrastructure updates and recent demographic trends needed to make the school compliant with modern day learning led CUSD 10 leaders to explore options to finance and construct a new building.
The current library was built in 1998, and sits just outside the existing Caseyville Elementary grounds on Second Street. CUSD 10 acquired the library property through an intergovernmental agreement. Following the official deed transfer in Jan. 2022, part of the intergovernmental agreement between the district and the library is a long term lease agreement for the use of the current building and new facility.
Funds for the new school campus came from local and grant funding. The projected cost of the project is $20 million. Work on the construction site began in Dec. 2022 and is expected to take about 18 months to complete. FGM Architects designed the campus and Holland Construction will serve as the construction manager.
The endeavor to build a new school from the ground up is the first kind in CUSD 10 since the Collinsville Middle School was built in 2003. Caseyville Principal Chelsea Clark said that this is not only a privilege, but a steady demonstration of support from district administrators and the board of education.
“Their dedication to make this a reality and bring our dreams and needs to fruition is greatly appreciated by all,” Clark said. “I am excited to see the transformation of Caseyville Elementary School today, and the future possibilities that it will provide our students and staff for years.”