New athletic facilities almost a reality for Peoria Central H.S.

By Katherine Tellez

April 15, 2014 Updated Apr 16, 2014 at 10:31 AM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- After several years of discussion, athletics at Peoria High School are getting a boost.

District 150 is ready to start the process of building a four-field sports complex at the school.

Peoria High School is the only high school in the area that does not have the ability to allow its athletes to practice and play games on its campus.

That is something the district is trying to change.

"This is a pretty significant investment by the school district, right in the middle of the city, in a really old school campus that needs some care and touch in terms of the athletic facilities," said Peoria's Community Development Director Ross Black.

The expansion includes a softball and baseball field, a track and soccer complex. It will cost about $3.5 million and be paid for by the Public Building Commission fund.

In order to build the complex, the district bought 30 properties; most of them homes.

"It'll be good for the students, but it's not good for us because basically we're losing our house," said Ericka Wallace, who has until June 1 to relocate.

The principal at Peoria High School says currently 11 teams have to board a bus in order to practice and play games, which has an impact on academics.

"Instead of having to leave school, like we are now, having to jump on a bus, our programs will be able to have their usual study tables, which is basically tutoring and getting their academic work done an hour after school like most schools do," said Peoria High School Principal, Brett Elliott.

Once the facility is completed, most of Woodruff Blvd. and part of Ellis St. will be closed.

"As part of this project the school district will have to go in and employ construction crews to dig out the roads and build the ball fields on top of where the road is right now," Black said.

The majority of the project is expected to be completed by the fall.

But before any of this can happen, the city council has to approve the development plan and street changes.

They are expected to vote on it during Tuesday's meeting.

To submit a comment on this article, your email address is required. We respect your privacy and your email will not be visible to others nor will it be added to any email lists.