SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Jay Hoffman, D-Swansea, passed legislation out of the Illinois House this week that would provide a cost-effective financing option for the reconstruction of Wolf Branch Middle School that has been damaged by mine subsidence.
“The closure of one of our local schools due to mine subsidence is a situation that needs to be resolved as swiftly as possible to meet the educational demands of our students and teachers,” Hoffman said. “My bill simply allows the school district to move forward with rebuilding the middle school while minimizing outstanding financial burdens.”
The existence of an abandoned mine underneath Wolf Branch Middle School has caused the structure of the building to deteriorate, to the point where it is no longer safe for students. As a result, all of the students have been relocated to the district’s elementary school building where there is now significant overcrowding, which has negatively impacted their ability to learn. Hoffman’s House Bill 1265 extends Wolf Branch School District 113’s debt limit to minimize the financial burden of tearing down the old middle school and constructing a new, structurally sound one in its place.
“While the Wolf Branch School District remains committed to operating within its financial means, we certainly recognize the need to provide a quality education for all of our students, and without a school, we aren’t meeting that objective,” said Wolf Branch School District 113 Superintendent Scott Harres. “We are extremely thankful for Representative Hoffman’s efforts to provide a financial safety net in the event that the district finds itself with unforeseen obligations that are necessary to resolve our current situation.”
House Bill 1265 passed the House on a vote of 90 – 21 and is awaiting consideration in the Senate.
Rep Jay Hoffman
261-S Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-1333 FAX
312 S. High St.
Belleville, IL 62220
(618) 416-7409 FAX