Group proposes consolidation plan for Kishwaukee and Nelson schools

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -- Nelson and Kishwaukee Elementary Schools are on District 205's list of future closings, however, one group is offering a plan of how to consolidate the two.

A group led by United Way President and CEO Paul Logli sees big things in the future for the Orchid Neighborhood as they would like to expand the property for Kishwaukee Elementary School following the closing of it along with Nelson Elementary.

Logli says the project would need everyone to chip in including the district, city, county and private sector.

The three year plan would see Rockford Public Schools purchase and or demolish the 27 surrounding properties. He says then the city and county would put in about $600,000 each as well as $200,000 from the private sector to pay for the demolition and green space improvements.

However, Logli says the school is just one part of redeveloping the entire neighborhood south of downtown.

"We want to leverage the investments that have been made in that area by putting more funds and more resources into the area surrounding the school and even to the east of Kishwaukee Street into the neighborhood to create a safe route to school and a good walkable neighborhood," said Logli.

“We’re still in the planning and development phase of this project," said RPS 205 Superintendent Ehren Jarrett. "As we analyze the details, we are excited about the prospects for this project, its potential partnerships and the positive impact the new school will have on our community. The Rockford School Board and the community will hear that presentation in the coming months.”

Logli says he is very much committed to this plan and says he and his partner Jim Keeling will each be contributing $10,000 to the private sector portion.

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