The Belvidere Middle School auditorium was packed Thursday night, not for a school production, but rather a forum for residents to share their thoughts about the school district.
Nearly 250 came out to the debut Vision 100, which discussed Belvidere schools’ enrollment and predictions on how many will fill classrooms in the future. After leaders shared their findings on the district's demographics, the meeting broke off into small groups. Residents shared their ideas on how to handle the expected growth.
Those in attendance are happy for another chance to be heard by district leaders.
"I think there are people who aren't comfortable speaking in front of a microphone or having to stand up and identify themselves, but this format people will be more willing to speak in this informal setting, this small group setting," Belvidere resident Dian Hornick said.
"Hopefully this will give us the opportunity to put together a recommendation that meets everyone's needs and everyone can rally around," Vision 100 co-chair Kim Larson said.
Belvidere school board members say they're happy with the meeting's turnout.
The next Vision 100 meeting will take place on Oct. 21 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Belvidere Middle School.