Herrin School Dist. adding new facilities in multi-million-dollar project

Herrin Middle School multi-million dollar extension begins.
Published: Nov. 6, 2023 at 5:30 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 6, 2023 at 5:41 PM CST
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HERRIN, Ill. (KFVS) - A Heartland school district is growing as it spends millions of dollars on new facilities.

The Herrin School District says those new buildings will provide better spaces for students.

The middle school in Herrin is getting a $6 million extension. It’ll include a new gym, cafeteria and kitchen.

And up the road at the high school, they’re building what they call a Tiger Wellness Facility.

“This is giving the kids some better chances at success during the day, it’s getting a little safer space during the day, it’s giving us a chance to expand and provide some new opportunities,” said Nathaniel Wilson, Herrin schools superintendent.

Construction is underway at Herrin Middle School as work on the school’s multi-million-dollar extension begins.

“It’s giving us the space that we need to make our PE classes have some safer pieces to the day. It gives us the space we need just kind of as an outlet for when we have our kids gather in the morning time between the gym. So the gym is part of it but also the cafeteria like I said that is a big piece of that,” Wilson added.

The new building will replace the current kitchen and cafeteria which dates back to the 1950s.

“It’s just going to be a really big just boost of morale I think for our junior high students and staff,” said Wilson.

According to Wilson, the middle school project was funded mostly through COVID-19 funds that were allocated by the federal government a couple of years ago.

But work isn’t just happening at the middle school. On the high school campus, the district will add a new wellness facility.

Superintendent Wilson said it’ll be similar to what Carbondale and Marion high schools offer.

“It be very similar to any kind of walk in clinic that you want to go to. It’s just going to be specifically for Herrin students and their families, Herrin employees and their families, Unit 4 employees and their families. As well as our alumni, how some of those things work out, we’ll get more details on that in the future,” Wilson explained.

This project will cost more than $380,000. Wilson said grants will cover $320,000 of it and the district will pay $60,000.

The wellness clinic will be staffed by Shawnee Health.

Wilson said these projects help them give their students and community, the best education they can.

“We love the kids here, we love our community and both of these I think are ways that the Herrin Unit 4 school district can show we’re investing in the kids, we’re investing in their future,” said Wilson.

The Herrin Middle School Project is expected to be finished by the start of next school year.

As for the Wellness Center, it is targeted to be open by January 2025.