Peoria Stadium is getting an $8 million facelift
The Peoria Stadium is getting a makeover that's been a long time coming.
During her annual State of the Schools address, Peoria Public Schools superintendent Dr. Sharon Kherat announced $8 million in state funds are allocated towards updating the historic 127-year-old Peoria Stadium complex.
"It's a long overdue facelift for it. But our community loves the stadium. And there lots of problems with it. It's been overlooked, because (of) finances. It was really not a priority for Peoria Public Schools," she said in a post-speech interview.
Kherat said the upgrades include new turf for the football field, a multi-purpose dome which can be used for indoor soccer, new bleachers for the visitors' side of the stadium, and a new scoreboard.
She said the renovations will make the Peoria Stadium "robust, friendly, and usable."
"You walk on that track right now, and there are huge potholes. And so we're just very, very excited about this opportunity to upgrade the stadium for our community," Kherat said.
The project funding was landed through the efforts of state Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth (D-Peoria). A 2024 completion date is expected.
More broadly, Kherat's address Wednesday at the Four Points by Sheraton hotel in downtown Peoria was themed on personalizing learning for kids, rather than a one-size-fits-all approach.
Kherat said that includes connecting kids with work experiences through the Woodruff Career and Technical Center, and other programs which allow students to get out of the classroom.
"Just redesigning around even more around career readiness, work readiness, and doing more of kids going to school part of the time, going out in the field, another part of the time. I'm just really excited about that vision," she said.
She said improving district mathematics and reading scores are also priorities. Part of that includes getting kids up to grade-level appropriate work. Kherat said she currently grades Peoria Public Schools as a whole at a 'C' on those core subjects.
Expanding middle school athletics, and social-emotional learning programs through the Wraparound Center, are other areas of focus, Kherat said.