New additions underway at Peoria High

By WEEK Producer

January 27, 2013 Updated Oct 26, 2013 at 1:24 AM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- The roughly 100-year-old Peoria High School building is getting a face-lift as walls are going up for the new gym addition at Peoria High.

District officials decided it was time to get the Lions on par with other schools, adding the gym for games and additional practice space.

On the other side of the building, the school is getting a new, two-story Science wing.

The old science wing will be gutted, remodeled and turned into regular classrooms.

"The science classrooms at Peoria High were very outdated," said Chris Coplan, Director of Public Relations at District 150. "This allows for some new facilities, but also to add needed classrooms that Peoria High has needed for quite sometime."

Coplan said the $18.7 million dollar renovation project also allowed for new heat pumps in the classrooms, the removal of boilers in the basement and the addition of air conditioning in the spring.

All of which is expected to be done just in time for the start of the new school year.

"People have been surprised at how fast it's been moving," said Coplan. "We do have a ways to go, but August first is approaching pretty quick."

A $40 million dollar grant from the State Capitol Development Board is helping to fund this and other projects throughout the district.

Other projects include a transition to K-8 for Lincoln and adding air conditioning to other schools including Keller and Woodrow Wilson.

The district is in the planning stages of adding a gym to Calvin Coolidge and a cafeteria to Rolling Acres as well.

"These are all projects that the schools have requested, that they've needed for sometime," said Coplan. "For instance, they've needed a separate cafeteria because right now they eat at the gym and that really limits the time they can have students in the gym for P.E."

Each project, the district hopes, adds to their overall goal of providing a well-rounded education.

"I think each of the projects have a big impact on instruction and education in our schools," said Coplan.

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