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New lights, roof, on tap for Rock Falls schools

Elementary district also seeking math interventionist

ROCK FALLS – Rock Falls District 13 will pay nearly $930,000 for new roofing at Merrill and new lights at all five of its elementary schools.

The district applied for school maintenance and energy grants to help pay for the project, and also will use state evidence-based funding money, Superintendent Dan Arickx said.

Whatever bills are left will be paid using the 1% Whiteside County sales tax revenue, which can be used only for building maintenance, renovations and upgrades, and paying off bonds sold for such projects.

Upgrading to energy-efficient LED lights will be done this summer at all five buildings: Merrill, Dillon, Rock Falls Middle School, Riverdale pre-kindergarten, and Thome. That will cost about $477,000.

"After energy grants and annual utility savings, it is projected to pay for itself after 9 years," Arickx said.

It will cost about $452,000 to replace the insulation and rubber membrane on Merrill's roof; that work will begin this spring, weather permitting, and last through the summer.

GRP Wegman of Bethalto, which did $3.1 million in upgrades to district schools in 2015-16, including a new cafeteria and district office wing at Merrill, will do the work.

At its meeting Wednesday, the board also discussed staffing plans for next year. It wants to add a math interventionist for K-5 students at Dillon and Merrill, to work with those who need assistance in math but do not qualify for special education.

Next meeting

The Rock Falls District 13 School Board board next meets at 7 p.m. March 11 at the Merrill School cafeteria, 602 Fourth Ave.

An agenda will be posted on the district website,, no later than 48 hours prior to the meeting.

Call 815-626-2604 for more information.

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