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Pana School District partners with Poettker Construction, BLDD, for new elementary school

Construction to start this fall for new elementary school

Pana Community Unit School District #8 held a groundbreaking ceremony on Tuesday, Oct.  18, 2022, to kick off the construction of a new Elementary School. Poettker Construction is serving as the construction manager and BLDD the architect for the new 65,000-square-foot elementary school, which will replace outdated, non-efficient elementary space currently located in 2 separate buildings.

“Poettker has a reputation for outstanding financial responsibility, safety performance, quality construction, and schedule management, which are instrumental when working with school districts,” said Jason Bauer, Pana CUSD #8 superintendent.

Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer Jon Carroll of Poettker Construction added, “We are truly honored to serve as the construction manager on this new 21st-century learning center for the Pana community and look forward to providing a safe, modern, and welcoming learning environment for its students.”

The new Elementary School, located at 203 W. 9th St. in Pana, Ill., will feature two main zones: public and shared-use areas and the education zone. The public and shared use areas included administrative offices, a commons and cafeteria area, an ICC 500 Storm Shelter-rated gymnasium, and areas designated for art, music, library/media center, and STEM learning.

The educational zone is organized with the PK-2 located on the first floor, with the 3rd -5th grades on the second floor. The classrooms wrap around the sides of the central gym, with quick access to and from that area.

The campus features an outdoor learning environment with a 1/8-mile walking path and 3 playgrounds tailored to different age levels. For student safety, a designated bus route will be created that is separate from the general parking.

Construction is expected to begin this fall with completion in time for the 2024 school year.

About Pana Unit Community School District 

Pana CUSD #8 is located in Central Illinois and serves 1,195 students in Pre-Kindergarten through High School.  Pana CUSD #8’s mission is: “Working in partnership, Pana CUSD #8, students, parents, and community members, will each do his/her part to ensure learning and success.” The District has a longstanding tradition of academic excellence and is excited to join Poettker Construction and BLDD Architects in the construction of the new Pana Elementary School. The school will serve students in PK-5 and provide state-of-the-art facilities in which teachers can deliver high-quality instruction utilizing the latest technology in a 21st Century learning environment.

About Poettker Construction Company

Established in 1980, Poettker Construction is an award-winning family-owned business specializing in construction management, design/build, general contracting and self-perform services with an emphasis to exceed the client’s expectations. Poettker Construction provides safe, quality, sustainable, and technology solutions to clients in the Education, Distribution, Government, Healthcare, Hospitality, Municipal, Recreation, Retail, and Utility industries. The company prides itself on building long-lasting relationships with their clients, business partners and the communities in which they work. For more information, visit


Shown: Young Weston Moore, 3, center, son of Shanna Moore, helped members of the Pana Community Unit Number 8 School Board turn the first spade of dirt at the ceremonial groundbreaking held this morning at the site of the new $24 million elementary school. Weston, currently in preschool at Washington School, will be in Kindergarten in the fall of 2024, the year the 65,000-square-foot state-of-the-art school opens. Pana School Superintendent Jason Bauer pointed out this is the first new elementary school building built by the district since Washinton and Lincoln schools were built in 1923. He said the new facility would bring 21st-century learning opportunities to Pana students. Pana School Board President Doug Kirkbride said the district is very excited about the new educational experience the school will bring. From left are Pana School Superintendent Jason Bauer, Pana School Board President Doug Kirkbride, school board members Kyle Anderson and Craig Deere, Washington Elementary School Principal Cherri Wysong, Weston, and school board members Anne Dorn, Michell Blackwell and Mark Beyers. (Tom Latonis/Breeze-Courier Photo)

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