Architects offer Eastlawn options
PAXTON — The Paxton-Buckley-Loda school board may decide to renovate or replace the district's oldest learning facility, PBL Eastlawn School, as part of more than $23 million in potential projects being considered for over the next 10 years.
At 90 years old, the building on East Center Street is in need of some "major repairs" and is considered outdated for today's learning needs, Superintendent Cliff McClure said.
Addressing the future of Eastlawn has been on the minds of school board members for several years. So when the board hired architects and engineers to prepare the district's required 10-year health/life safety study, it decided to also have them help with planning for the district's long-term future, McClure said.
The board heard a presentation from Gorski Reifsteck Architects in Champaign and the DLR Group of Chicago. Three options were suggested for Eastlawn:
— Complete an extensive renovation, building a 6,600-square-foot addition and continuing to keep students in third through fifth grades there.
— Tear it down and build a two-story addition for students in grades 3-5 at Paxton's Clara Peterson Elementary, currently a facility for pre-kindergarten through second grade.
— Tear it down and build a new school for grades two through five in the grassy area the district already owns north of the junior high/high school complex. Under that option, Clara Peterson would only serve pre-K through first grade.
According to architects, it could cost more than $11 million to renovate Eastlawn, build an addition to the school and complete a long list of work at that facility. And it could cost even more — around $19 million — to tear down Eastlawn and convert Clara Peterson into a school for pre-K through fifth grade.