63 / 38
      43 / 34
      42 / 35

      Illini West High School: What happens now?

      Illini West students and staff made their way through the halls of a building in need of many repairs Wednesday morning.

      Four water main breaks this fall have left the school's drinking water and bathroom situation a mess. A photo taken Tuesday of the water in the Home Ec classroom shows a cup with murky brown water with solids at the bottom. It's one of many signs of the school's aging infrastructure.

      The school is at a loss with what to do after the Hancock County community voted down a tax increase that would have helped build a new school just down the road.

      "People were pretty disappointed. A lot of work went into that referendum," Kim Schilson, the Illini West superintendent said.

      Superintendent Schilson says the school board will meet next week to decide the next steps, including the potential for another vote in the spring.

      "The board will have to sit down and take a look at what took place, what we could do different and if we should proceed any further." Schilson said.

      Bill Goddard lives in Macomb, but works in Carthage. He says he heard concerns from many area residents leading up to the election including the piece of property for the new school.

      "The land value is so much that it raises the problem of getting it at a fair price and who's to say what's fair?" Goddard said.

      A majority of LaHarpe and Dallas City residents did not like that it would be just down the street from the old location.

      "It's tough to be centrally located, that's for sure," Goddard said. "With everybody's agreement."

      Goddard also says there's a local debate about how badly the school needs a new facility during a tight economy.

      "There's really no other buildings in the area that would fit our needs for a high school district." -- So for now, we're just going to go on ... "we're going to go on and do what we can do and see where we go," Schilson said.