Fairfield Ledger

Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 22, 2018

Public hearing set for school sale

By Andy Hallman, Ledger news editor | Feb 20, 2018
Photo by: ANDY HALLMAN/Ledger photo Fairfield High School senior Shawn Spurrier, middle, addresses the Fairfield school board Monday about a book he made covering soccer. He was joined by fellow seniors Kristen Daugherty, left, and Natalie Brader. The three are all in Mark Eubank’s American Government class, and their assignment was to create a book about one of their passions, and then read the book to elementary school students.

The Fairfield Community District School Board set a public hearing for March 19 to sell the former Libertyville Elementary School building to the city of Libertyville.

At its most recent meeting Jan. 29, the Libertyville City Council voted to proceed with a plan to give control of the building to Ben Picard and other developers who would lease the rooms. They have spoken to potential tenants interested in starting a child care center in the space, as well as several others who want to rent rooms for their business.

School board president Warren Schaefer thanked the Libertyville Building Committee for working hard to find an alternate use for the building. The committee created a request for proposal to market the building to developers, and through this was able to attract Picard.

“We didn’t want a vacant building, and we didn’t want to raze it,” Schaefer said. “This is a good opportunity to raise the tax base of the town, too. We know that we need development to grow the district to get people to move here.”

Fairfield facilities director Jeff Koontz said there are some things in the building that he wants to donate to the city of Libertyville, such as the scoreboard in the gymnasium.

“The pictures in the gym and anything else of historical value should go to Libertyville City Hall,” he said. “It may not mean as much to Fairfield, but it means a lot to Libertyville.”

Koontz said Libertyville Mayor Rod Nelson deserves a “pat on the back” for the work he’s put in trying to save the former school.

“I know he’s missed a lot of time at work,” Koontz said.

Koontz said the school plans to auction inventory at the former school, such as tables and desks, sometime in April. The school is also planning to auction the unneeded weight room equipment at the high school, since it will receive new equipment during Spring Break when the weight room is remodeled. Along those lines, the board accepted a donation to renovate the weight room. The amount needed was $161,000, and the amount of private donations committed to as of late January was $170,000.

“This is going to be great, and it was all privately funded,” Schaefer said about the weight room.


Reading to youngsters

FHS history teacher Mark Eubank spoke about a neat project his American Government students just completed where they created books, and then read the books to elementary school students in the district. The books were known as a “passion project” because the high school students were supposed to write about one of their passions. They found photos of their passions, and laid them out in a spiral-bound book spanning several pages.

Three high school students addressed the board about the project. Shawn Spurrier did his on soccer, and incorporated government into the project, too. He spoke about how immigrants have influenced soccer over the years, and about what governments must do to host the World Cup.

Kristen Daugherty dedicated hers to music. She talked about how she has been encouraged to pursue her passion by FHS choir instructor Zach Reiter, about music’s importance throughout history, and about how she wants to inspire younger kids to pursue their dreams.

Natalie Brader did hers on NASA, an homage to her father Charles, who introduced her to Star Wars, and Gloria Countryman, one of her elementary school teachers. Brader said the youngsters liked hearing about the space race, how global positioning systems work, and about the possibility of living on other planets.

Brader said she had so much fun as a child when big kids read to her class, and it felt good to pay it forward now that she’s a big kid.

The school board watched a video made by first-grade teacher Jamie Reifsteck in which she interviews her students about the books the high-schoolers made and what their favorite ones were.


Student representative

Hollie Nelson was the student representative on hand Monday, and she gave a report to the board about what’s been happening at the high school. She said Monday marked the beginning of FFA Week, and that Fairfield’s chapter had just returned earlier that day from a subdistrict competition in Louisa-Muscatine. Once FFA Week is finished, the club will turn its attention to helping with Take Away Hunger in early March. Nelson mentioned that the winter sports teams are doing well, that the boys’ and girls’ basketball teams have had winning seasons, and that the bowling, swimming and wrestling teams have all had great years.

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