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home : news : local   May 24, 2016

9/26/2013 5:46:00 AM
Big grant comes to Peru schools

Copier service questioned


Peru school district is wrestling with a problem it didn’t anticipate — malfunctioning copy machines that are just over a year old.

The district bought seven new copiers in the summer of 2012 along with an attractively-priced 5-year lease and service agreement from low bidder, Xerox, Superintendent Mark Cross told the school board Wednesday.

The cost is $85 per month per machine.

“New machines shouldn’t have any problems,” he said. “This is not new technology. They should just run.”

Board members weighed in.

“Copy machines break down,” said C.G. Pillai.

“Not when they’re brand new,” Simon Kampwerth Jr. said.

“The ones in the past didn’t break down,” Jim Renk said.

“Twenty-seven years of teaching, nothing like this,” Parkside Principal Lori Madden said.

Board and staff members said the machines are lightweight and “cheap” like they are not business-grade machines. Cross said he will ask Xerox representatives to meet with him to resolve the problem.

Jeff Dankert
NewsTribune Reporter

Peru school board Wednesday approved a 2014 budget that would have shown a deficit but for good news that the district is approved to receive up to $11.7 million from the Illinois Capital Development Board.

The board also approved a capital development grant agreement with the state. The grant effectively reimburses 58 percent of the district’s cost of building Parkside Middle School, which alleviated facilities shortcomings, Superintendent Mark Cross said.

Peru school district has been on a capital projects grant list since 2003, he said. But getting the money now couldn’t have come at a better time, given decreased revenues and with long-term planning eyes now turned toward Washington and Northview schools, he said.

Cross encouraged discussions in the building and grounds committee and the full board regarding long-term facilities needs.

The district has a draft facilities plan for Washington and Northview and the district is up for a 10-year health/life safety review, another timely occurrence, Cross said.

Cross said he will have the district’s architect gather facts and costs for potential projects prior to the board’s Oct. 16 meeting.

The 2014 budget shows a deficit in the education fund of $785,999, but because of the expected capital grant, the overall budget shows a $10.2 million surplus.

 Reporter Jeff Dankert can be reached at (815) 220-6977 or

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