IVC Learning Center is a closed campus, but arrangements can be made in some circumstances to visit students, classrooms, teachers or the facilities. Visitors are expected to call the Center office in advance of a visit in order to make such arrangements. All visitors are also expected to enter the school through the main entrance and sign in at the office.
Why the Commerce Bank Location?
The concepts of an alternative school and life skills lab classroom are certainly not new in education or the IVC School District. Approximately 10 years ago, District Superintendent Dr. Kinney started the first alternative school within IVC High School. Unfortunately, the high school experience in a school the size of IVC High School is difficult for some of the students who benefit from an alternative school setting. Running the program within our current building was simply too similar to a traditional experience for many of these students who were struggling to be successful. We believe that is why so many of our current and past students have been successful in the smaller learning environment that has been offered at Wildlife Prairie. With the Commerce Bank facility, we are trying to offer a similar small learning environment experience, while keeping our students in the district and giving them the opportunity to still be a part of IVC High School.
While we looked at all the buildings in Chillicothe that were for sale this spring and even discussed the possibility of renting space from Pearce Community Center, the Community Needs Agency, and the Chillicothe Park District, we felt our students and these programs needed a permanent home. The most recent renovations to the Commerce Bank building were also completed by local architect Dennis Parkins, so we were very comfortable with the condition of the building and improvements that would need to be made.
In addition, the cost of the Commerce Building was simply too good to pass-up. The district purchased the building for $75,000. With the median home value in Chillicothe at $122,200 (Zillow website, July 19, 2017), the cost, size, and location of the Commerce Bank building made it the best fit for the new Learning Center.
As with all school buildings in Illinois, the IVC Learning Center must meet the state’s stringent health/life/safety code requirements to host students. Renovations on the Learning Center will begin Thursday, July 20th, and work to make the restrooms and life skills lab classroom meet school code will begin as soon as possible. The building must meet all building code requirements before it can be operational. With school beginning in less than a month, the Learning Center may not open officially to students for the first day of school, but we are optimistic that it will be a short time before students and staff are enjoying the new IVC Learning Center.
The district would like to thank the Chillicothe City Council members who supported the Learning Center and approved our request for a special use permit to allow a school to be held in the Central Business District. We are very excited to work with our new neighbors on Second Street and become a vital part of its ongoing revitalization.