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      Quincy School District looking into construction grant

      UPDATED: June 20 at 11 p.m.

      The Quincy school board decided on Wednesday night to put its name on the list of schools that one day may be eligible to get part of a School Construction grant from the state.

      Because Quincy has several schools dating back to the late 1800's and early 1900's, the district would qualify for the state money to make much needed repairs or build new facilities.

      No action will be taken because of the board's vote.

      This moves just gets the districts name on the list should money become available in the next few years.

      To date, the School Construction Grant Program has provided over $3.1 billion in state funds for building and renovating local public schools.

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      The School Construction Grant Program has poured more than $3 billion into public school buildings across Illinois for the last 15 years.

      The Quincy School District has a chance to collect a small portion it, given it meets certain qualifications.

      "The two main criteria is natural disasters, either floods, fires, tornadoes, and then old school buildings, overcrowded and old school buildings," interim business manager Rich Royalty said.

      Royalty says because Quincy has several schools dating back to the late 1800's and early 1900's, the district would qualify for the construction grant.

      "Berrian, Madison, Washington, those are the three that really stand out," he said. "Classrooms are smaller than they'd be today, handicap accessibility, there's a lot of changes in the last 50 to 100 years that some of the buildings just don't meet those standards anymore."

      A decision as to which schools could get replaced or renovated is far down the road, but that process could include restructuring. The district currently has seven K-3 elementary schools, an intermediate school, and a junior and high school .

      "Are we going to reduce the number, and if we're going to build new buildings, where are those going to be? Do we have to buy a property? So we've got a lot of discussion between now and when we get to that point," Royalty said.

      Right now, it's just about getting Quincy's name on the list.

      "There's not a lot of money there right now, so once you get on the list, you have to wait until your name comes up and then they say, okay Quincy, you're to the top of the list now, do you want to do this, or do you have the funds to do your portion of it, so then it's up to the board to decide, yes we want to do it or not," Royalty said.

      As it stands now, Quincy would qualify for 66 percent of funds from the state, so it would have to come up with the other 34 percent.

      "If you want to build a new building and you get two-thirds of it paid by the state, that's very beneficial," Royalty said.

      The Quincy School Board meets Wednesday night to decide on the application process for the state grant.

      To date, the School Construction Grant Program has benefited 497 School districts in every region of the state and provided over $3.1 billion in state funds for building and renovating local public schools.

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