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home : news : local   May 24, 2016

6/25/2014 9:30:00 PM
Peru schools march closer to Northview project

Jeff Dankert
NewsTribune Reporter

Peru Elementary School board Wednesday completed more planning steps toward building an addition to Northview, which starts later this summer.

The board approved construction documents for bidding the addition and renovation project.

The board received planning updates from architect Jacob Been of Healy, Bender & Associates Inc., Naperville, and Greg Wiesbrock, Vissering Construction, Co, Streator, the construction manager for the project.

They reviewed plan details, security gates, kitchen design and bidding.

A stormwater detention pond will be on the northeast corner of the lot. The existing school’s stormwater treatment was grandfathered in by the city, because there will be two depressions created to retain some runoff from blacktop.

The district is strongly considering burying power lines along the west boundary of the property, because they now string through trees and occasionally spark fires. The city endorses line burial and will work with the district on a cost estimate, Superintendent Mark Cross said.

The board also approved a recommended bid for asbestos abatement in Northview school, $16,500 from Holian Asbestos Removal, Spring Grove.

The board will schedule a special meeting in July to approve construction bids.

The project will double the size of Northview’s building and student body by 2015-16, taking in the students in grades 2-4 from Washington School, which will be closed. It will accommodate all of the district’s preschool through fourth-grade students and staff under one roof. The project is funded with an $11.4 million state school construction grant.

Bright futures

The district’s preschool program served 24 three-year-old students and 49 four-year-olds in the last school year, said Cross, referring to a report from Northview Principal Sara McDonald.

Registration is $75 for the district’s Bright Futures preschool program. Tuition is in three tiers based on financial need: $150 in Tier 1, $600 in Tier 2 and $1,050 in Tier 3. The district’s revenue from the program was just over $50,000, Cross said.

Some parents complain that all parents should pay the same, Cross said. However, this would automatically eliminate many children who could benefit the most from preschool, he said. Forty-four of the students attending were considered at-risk, “the very kids we want to get in the program,” Cross said.

“If everybody had to pay the full amount, they wouldn’t be there,” he said.

Serving parents

The district is surveying parents this summer about district services, from online access to bussing. The district also is going to create a free app for parents to download get web updates from the district. It will cost the district about $1,200 to $1,300.

Other votes

The board also adopted fiscal year 2014 amended budget and approved recommended 2014-15 student handbook revisions and 2014-15 Illinois Elementary School Association membership and fees.

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

Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, June 26, 2014
Article comment by: Anonymous78875

Just to clarify on this topic, it is actually a storm water detention area and not a "retention pond". There will be no standing water in this area except in the event of a large rain, and even then only for a matter of hours. In the event of a heavy rain, the system will detain water for a short period of time, while slowly releasing it into the storm water system.

Similar to Parkside School, we have worked meticulously to ensure that this is engineered the right way. The result is that we will improve the storm water runoff and detention for what exists now on the site, and will fully mitigate the runoff resulting from our new addition to Northview Elementary School. Our number one concern with this was that we actually improved the area for our neighbors, as Northview has no detention area now. Without a doubt, that will be accomplished.

Anyone who has questions about this is welcome to contact me at 815-223-0486 at anytime, or by e-mail at I am more than happy to explain this in more detail or show anyone our plans who might be interested. I also promise you won't get a "detention" for asking.

Thank you!

Mark R. Cross, Superintendent
Peru Elementary School District 124

Posted: Thursday, June 26, 2014
Article comment by: Anonymous30289

I always though it was a "retention" pond...
A stormwater detention pond will be on the northeast corner of the lot.
But it is a school, I guess "detention" is fitting.

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