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  • Fairbury News staff

Facility meetings begin Mon.

(A sign is shown inside of PC Elementary in Fairbury, formerly Westview)

Some important decisions regarding facilities in the Prairie Central school district must be made and the process begins Monday night with a public meeting in Fairbury.

The public’s help is needed in building a facility improvement plan. An effort known as “PACT,” or Planning a Course Together, will host the first in a series of meetings Monday (Feb. 26) from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Prairie Central High School gym.

PACT is led by a group of citizens from throughout the district who will help develop a long-range facility improvement plan for the district which will eventually be presented to the school board.

“We are kind of at a crossroads with our school facilities right now with the age they are,” explained Scott Berry, a co-chair for the group.

How much money to spend on older buildings or what to do with those buildings are factors which will be considered. Several other meetings are planned after this one in the coming months and each will be different and progressive.

“A lot of the things we have to talk about are going to be our school facilities, what’s going on with them and where they are at – basically the state of the facilities,” notes Berry.

The PACT committee is in charge of running the community engagement program and they have had a couple of meetings so far.

“We’ve had this kind of in the making for a little while,” said Prairie Central Superintendent Paula Crane. “We have 21 people on this committee that really represent our vast area.”

In addition to Berry, other committee co-chairs include JD Skaggs, Anna Schmidgall and Chuck Power.

The goal of the first meeting is to give the community information so everyone is in the know. Crane wants attendees to come willing to participate. The audience will receive information on each building, how it is functioning and what needs to be fixed along with the monetary values that go with those repairs. Then, it will turn into a workshop-like atmosphere.

“You are going to sit at your table and have some discussion about the information you just got. Then someone at the table is going to report out to the whole group,” said Crane.

While everyone who attends the meetings will participate, that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to get up and speak in front of a large crowd.

“People are passionate about their school district and their schools, so we really want to capitalize on that passion and really open it up,” Crane added.

Monday’s meeting is considered informational but will also include input. That input will drive the next meeting and brainstorming sessions will be held in the future.

“I’m pretty excited about the process,” noted Crane.

The tentative schedule for subsequent meetings includes Brainstorming and Finance 101 on March 11, Scenario Refinement on April 15 and an Options Forum on May 6 to pick a plan.



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