MEMBERS OF THE Pana School Board voted unanimously Monday night, Aug. 19, to enter into a contract with Nelson Aumann Auction and Realty of Nokomis for an appraisal and sale of the former Pana Junior High School property at the corner of Fifth and Poplar Streets in Pana.
The building, which was first Pana Township High School, served as the junior high school until a fire destroyed it on Oct. 4, 1997.
Following the demolition of the building, there were plans to build a multi-million dollar facility to house the Lake Land College Western Technology Center. After many years of being on the back burner, it appears those plans will not come to fruition on the property.
(Tom Latonis Photo)
A Fiscal Year 2014 Budget for the Pana School District gained tentative approval Monday night, Aug. 19, during the monthly meeting of the Pana School board. All seven members attended the session held in the Unit Office on East Main St. in Pana.
Dr. David Lett presented the spending plan which contains a deficit of $1.1 million in the Education Fund. The Education Fund is the main district fund which pays for the day-to-day operation of the district. The total deficit comes to $1.2 million when all of the other funds are figured into the mix.
Lett said the budget figures are subject to change prior to the Board’s final vote on the spending plan which will come at the September meeting of the Board. He said there are a couple of items which the school district will be able to delete due to new information on the school’s Adequate Year Progress report. However, there could be an increase if the District has to come up with funds for a special education student’s curriculum expenses.
The site of the former Pana Township High School and Pana Junior High School will be going up for sale. Without discussion, the Board voted unanimously to contract with Nelson Aumann Auction and Realty of Nokomis for the appraisal and help with the sale of the property located at the corner of Fifth and Poplar Streets in Pana.
Fire destroyed a portion of the building on Oct. 4, 1997, which made the remaining structure unfit to use. The District built a new high school and moved seventh and eighth grade into the former high school building in 2000.
Plans had been made to use the property in the future as the home of Lake Land College’s Western Technology Center, a $12 million facility. The plans have been shelved for some time due to the financial conditions of the state as well as the recession.
At the last school board meeting Assistant School Superintendent David Dively told the Board the District failed to meet Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) in testing done the previous school year. However, that changed a bit during his report Monday night.
But, the official AYP report now shows Pana Junior High School made AYP by achieving the “Safe Harbor” targets. At Lincoln School although they didn’t make AYP, they did meet it in reading. This was the area they didn’t make AYP in 2012. So, both schools only have to offer school choice for the coming school year.
The next school board meeting is being delayed a week to Monday, Sept. 23. It will begin with a budget hearing at 6:15 p.m., followed by the regular meeting starting at 6:30 p.m. in the Unit Office.