Local school district finally receiving reimbursement


Reporter - Kathryn DiGisi

DUQUOIN, Ill. - Imagine starting and finishing a nearly 20 million dollar project without receiving the state funding you were promised until almost a decade later.

That was a reality for two Southern Illinois schools.

Back in 2002. DuQuoin High School was put on the state's school construction list.

School leaders planned to construct a new building with an updated gym, media center and cafeteria, but construction didn't begin until last year because they were waiting on money from the state.

The school was ready for the 2012-13 school year, but there is still a snag in the funding.

DuQuoin High students got to start the school year in a shiny new building.

The problem is the district is still waiting on over a million dollars in funding to reimburse themselves, but it finally looks like there is some light at the end of the tunnel.

DuQuoin superintendent Gary Kelly says the state reimbursed construction projects slowly over time, but they are waiting for the last 10 percent.

That's more than a million dollars, and for a small district, that hurts.

"It's a substantial amount of money," said Kelly.

That is money the school district has been out.

They have been finding ways to make ends meet without impacting their students.

"We were told we'd receive money as we sought reimbursement through their process. We didn't think we'd have to wait for the last ten percent," said Kelly.

Superintendent Kelly finally received word that the State of Illinois sold the bonds this week.

They should have their money by the end of the month, but Kelly says he is not holding his breath.

"I'm looking forward to receiving the check, we've been told it's going to happen, but there's still apprehension until that happens," said Kelly.