Six second graders with shovels in hand, playing in the dirt, non they are not in a sandbox. They are breaking ground on two multi-million dollar schools in the Belvidere school district.
After attempting to pass a referendum twice, the community is now starting to see the results of some of their efforts. That's the same community that has had to deal with all the pros and cons of a steeply rising population. The challenge is maintaining the quality of life and small town feel in both the community and in the schools.
Mayor Brereton says the new schools, expansion of the Chrysler plant, and residential development around the schools are helping create an important balance, a balance between different land uses including residential, commercial, and industrial.
More work is needed from the city and the school district to keep Belvidere thriving. In fact, some of the work has yet to begin for the district. Through the ground is broken and the elementary school is scheduled for completion before the next school year, the facility still needs to be staffed.