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Richland County CUSD 1 holds groundbreaking for new Early Learning Pre-K Center in Olney

Richland County Community Unit #1 held a groundbreaking ceremony on Aug. 30, 2022, for the new construction of its Early Learning Pre-K Center, located at 1001 N. Holly Rd., Olney, Ill.

Construction Manager Poettker Construction and designer BLDD Architects will build a new 16,400 square feet early learning facility to create more space for the district’s Pre-Kindergarteners and consolidate the elementary school and the Early Learning Center into one campus. The new build is expected to be completed for the 2023-2024 school year.

Richland County Elementary School opened in January 2000 with the merger of three elementary schools in the district. Since then, multiple elementary school reorganization efforts have taken place, from closing an aging elementary school to adding one through the annexation of the West Richland School District into the county-wide district. Additionally, Richland County has seen growth in its Pre-K Programs over the past few years.

“The result of all of these factors is a very crowded elementary school. Through the construction of an early learning center, we solve the problem of a very cramped school and provide a dedicated facility to our preschool and birth to three programs,” said Chris Simpson, superintendent of RCCU1. “We are confident in Poettker Construction and BLDD Architects’ ability to provide us with a modern early learning center that will meet the needs of our youngest learners and their families.”

The new Pre-K facility will include seven preschool classrooms, play areas, and an indoor multi-purpose area.

“Recently, Poettker Construction successfully completed a high school renovation and addition for Richland County Community Unit #1,” said Jon Carroll, executive vice president and chief operations officer at Poettker Construction Company. “We are excited to continue our partnership and deliver a greatly enhanced Early Learning Center to the community.”

Featured photos are from the Aug. 30, 2022 Richland County Community Unit #1 groundbreaking ceremony at the site of the new Early Learning Center located at 1001 N. Holly Rd., Olney, Ill.  Also featured is a  rendering of the new Early Learning Center, expected to be complete for the 2023-2024 school year. (Submitted images)

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