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Peoria Public Schools gets mixed grades for facility conditions

Jeffrey Smudde

Peoria Public School District 150 has a clearer idea of how structurally sound its buildings are.

At Monday night’s school board meeting, Aaron Gunn from IDG Architects presented data from a 2019 study that cost the district $25,000. That assessment rated district buildings based on exterior and interior quality, secure entry, and ADA compliance.

According to the data, the school district’s exteriors were rated mostly good. However, District 150’s building interiors and secure entrances were rated mostly fair, and its ADA compliance was rated poor.

Mick Willis, the board’s treasurer and chief financial officer, said the data is somewhat outdated. The district has improved facilities over the past few years, such as roofs, doors, and windows.

“If you have a building that has those conditions corrected, you go a long way to operating your buildings the way they are supposed to, so we focus a lot on that,” Willis said.

Board member Gregory Wilson responded to the presentation, saying he understands how the district’s appearance impacts education.

“When your school facility looks good, that kind of influences learning,” Wilson said. “If the school looks nice, and it’s up-to-date, and it’s conducive to learning, then that will just make our students behave a little bit better.”

The next step for the district is to develop plans for future improvements based on the study's findings.

Mike Smith is an correspondent with WCBU in Peoria. He joined the station in 2023.