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Dixon schools get look at future

Firm presents three options for revamping district

DIXON – The Dixon Public Schools Strategic Planning Committee got a glimpse of what the school district could look like in 20 years.

During a meeting Wednesday night, representatives from Arcon Associates Inc., presented possibilities about what the school district could do, from renovating buildings to building a new high school.

The Strategic Planning Committee will get a presentation from another consulting firm, Green and Associates, on Feb. 24. One of the two firms could be chosen to do a master plan for the future of the district.

The goal of presentation and discussion Wednesday night, Superintendent Michael Juenger said, was to consider what could be done with the schools in 15 or 20 years, not the immediate future.

Steven Hougsted, of Arcon, said a big part of the process in the early stages includes reviewing many possibilities and determining which will work best for Dixon. Then the consulting firm and the district, he said, work together to determine how those possibilities can be implemented with the students and teachers.

The Arcon representatives presented several options.

The first option included renovating the high school, with a capacity of 1,000 students in mind. Reagan Middle School could be used for grades 4 through 8, and Jefferson Elementary could be used for grades 2 and 3. Washington Elementary could house pre-kindergarten through first grade.

That option was estimated to cost between $34 million and $47 million and would include tearing down Lincoln Elementary School for the land to be used as an athletics complex.

The second option included renovating the current high school for grades 9 and 10 and constructing a new building for grades 11 and 12. Reagan Middle School could hold the fourth- through eighth-grade students. Jefferson could be a pre-kindergarten and kindergarten center. Washington would house the first and second grade.

The second option could cost between $43 million and $52 million, plus the cost of purchasing some land.

A third option presented included building a new high school and having fifth- through eighth-grade students move to the current high school building. Reagan Middle School could then house kindergarten through fourth grade.

The third option could cost between $52 million and $67 million, plus the cost of purchasing land, but with savings from closing the Washington and Jefferson buildings.

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