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New law will support high school home building programs

SPRINGFIELD — A new law would allow for licensed real estate agents to sell homes that were built by students as part of high school coursework.

The legislation’s Senate sponsor, State Sen. David Koehler, applauded the governor’s decision to sign the measure into law and congratulated Pekin Community High School District 303 for advocating for it in Springfield.

“The sale of these homes helps in maintaining worthy programs like District 303’s building trades program. At the same time we’re pushing for the best education in technology and the sciences, we also need to ensure that students have the best opportunity to learn construction skills,” said Koehler, D-Peoria. “I’d also like to thank Rep. Unes for taking the lead in bringing forth this legislation in the House.”

Similar to other programs in school districts throughout the state, District 303’s building trades program allows high school students to learn how to build and renovate homes by doing. Money from the sale of the completed structures helps perpetuate the program, but under current law the structures must first attempt to sell them under the same sealed bidding process as any other district-owned real property before contracting with professional real estate agents. The legislation would grant school districts the authority to contract with realtors immediately.

“Pekin Community High School is grateful to both Senator Koehler as well as Representative Unes for their support of legislation that will allow our Building Trades program to have added flexibility in terms of selling our student-constructed house each year,” said Dr. Danielle Owens, Superintendent of District 303. “What began as a resolution that was created and supported by Board Member Joe Alesandrini and supported by the rest of our Board of Education has now become a reality thanks to the hard work of our local legislators.”

The legislation was Senate Bill 2823. The new provisions will take effect next year.

                                                                                                                                                                       — From the Illinois Business Journal

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