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CLINTON -- Residents of the Clinton School District are being asked to help decide what key features are important for a proposed elementary school.

Two potential sites have been identified. The first, at the corner of Illini Drive and Park Lane, is owned by Valley View Properties, the parent company of Liberty Village Nursing Home and adjacent to the current junior high school.

The second site is the current junior varsity baseball diamond at the high school.

"It seemed to be an overwhelming consensus that the public preferred the campus cluster option, where we have several of our schools in the same general area," Superintendent Jeff Holmes said. "I think it came down to ease of transportation more than anything else."

On Tuesday, the fourth in the series of community engagement meetings will focus on what key features should be built into the new school.

"We are to the point where we can start designing something, throwing ideas around, and get a feel for what it will look like," said Jann Martin, one of four community engagement co-chairmen. "It really should be interesting because nothing has been determined and at this point, we are just taking ideas and reviewing our options."

Holmes said attendance at previous meetings has been between 75 and 100 people. He hopes families with younger children who anticipate attending the school will attend. The meeting will be at Clinton High School, beginning at 6 p.m.

"It's really a critical meeting because we are going to be talking about the building itself," Holmes said. "After this, we can give the architects some direction, but we want to know what our residents prefer when it comes to classroom space, gyms, the commons area, playgrounds, lighting and all of those matters."

District leaders will be on hand to gather input from current and future elementary students as well, Holmes said.

The school would replace Washington Elementary and Webster Elementary schools, and serve second through fifth grades.

Property taxes will not have to be raised to build the school, Holmes said, as the new school has been in the district's long-range plans for several years. The school board could vote on the new school -- estimated to cost about $12 million -- in October.


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