Saratoga delays discussion of consolidation study
District officials expect update soon on IDOT plans for Illinois 47
The Board of Education at Saratoga Community Consolidated School District 60C tabled its discussion about participation in a feasibility of school consolidation study until more information can be provided on cost and whether the state has available funds.
The board planned to discuss the study again at its next Education Advisory and Building Finance Advisory Committee meeting Thursday, Sept.13, following the next Morris Community Shared Services Committee meeting Wednesday, Sept. 5.
At the MCSSC meeting in July, the group discussed the fact consolidation of schools had not been looked into in Morris since 2006. Representatives from the four public school district serving Morris were asked to take the discussion up with their respective boards of education and report back to the committee in September.
Morris Community High School’s and Morris Elementary School's boards of education voted to participate in a feasibility study, pending further information and the parameters. Nettle Creek’s Board of Education was not interested in paying for a feasibility study, but would likely participate in the study if the board would not have to support it financially.
ILLINOIS 47 UPDATE
The Illinois Department of Transportation is planning to conduct another traffic study before beginning the proposed reconstruction of a portion of Illinois 47.
The proposed project is to reconstruct the 11.5-mile portion of the roadway from just south of Granville Road in Morris north to Caton Farm Road, south of Yorkville, with two lanes in each direction and a center median; reconstruct bridges and culverts; improve intersections and install traffic signals when warranted; and reconstruct shoulders and ditches with an outside curb and gutter south of Valley Run.
In June, IDOT representatives hosted a public hearing at Saratoga School to listen to comments and concerns, and answer questions regarding the project.
The administration and board of education at Saratoga School, located at Illinois 47 and Granville Road, had three specific concerns at that time regarding the safety of the Saratoga community — the school’s south entrance, the intersection of Granville Road and Illinois 47, and the 45-mph speed limit.
Saratoga District Superintendent Kathy Perry said the upcoming traffic study will take a look at the school's south entrance.
"We'd like to, as much as possible, keep car and bus traffic separated," Perry said.
Along with the additional lanes being constructed on Illinois 47, a raised median would run down a center lane. If that happens, northbound traffic on Illinois 47 would only have access to the school at the north entrance and traffic exiting Saratoga would only be able to turn southbound due to the current one-way flow of traffic Saratoga has in front of the building.
The study is to be conducted in the first few weeks of school, Perry said. Once it is completed, a meeting will be set up to discuss the results.
IDOT plans to go out for bid on the project in November 2013 and to begin construction in 2014.