Bureau Valley Community Schools wait for votes to approve school upgrades

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MANLIUS, Illinois-- Voters in Bureau, Whiteside and Lee Counties will decide on a multi-million dollar project to upgrade the Bureau Valley Community Unit School District No. 340, Tuesday, April 4, 2017.

Voters will be asked to approve a $17 million dollar bond issue for a long list of changes, starting with the high school.

The plan would add about four to six classrooms to Bureau Valley High School to make room for students grades 6-12.

It would also build a new elementary school in Sheffield, Illinois while shutting down Bureau Valley South. Right now students at Bureau Valley South are only occupying half the building, after the other half was deemed unsafe.

"Well, the building is just old, so when the architect came in to look at the foundation and the structure, it just continues to just to deteriorate," says Interim Superintendent Eric Lawson.

The district plans to also use the money to update the heating and cooling system at Bureau Valley North elementary school.

The referendum has gotten kick back from parents. They are concerned that the new elementary school is too far from other schools in the district. They are also concerned that the district does not have enough information to put the referendum question on the ballot.

"Lets take one more year to research this farther and to allow a new board to listen to what the public really wants rather than spending the next 20 years living with a mistake," says Chris Smith, from Manlius, Illinois.

If the referendum is approved construction could start as soon as this fall.