My name is James Kovac and I am a retired teacher/administrator from Sherrard High School, Sherrard, Illinois, retiring in 2007. I have been working working with the Sherrard School District as a volunteer over the last 5 years, helping with the development of the courtyard area which was created with the addition of two construction additions to the Jr./Sr. High School building over the last 20 years. I am the Courtyard Coordinator in charge of developing the courtyard area into an useable outdoor area for all types of school class activities. I have helped earn three grants over the last three years from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources for developing the area into an outdoor classroom for science classes and other classes also. The schoolyard habitat grant money was used to purchase over 400 native wildflower plants and grasses the past three years which have been planted in the area over the last three spring planting seasons with the help of students involved in the development of this area. We have developed a large butterfly garden, a woodland plant environment and a prairie grass, prairie wildflower area. Students have been involved with the upkeep and maintenance of the area. We are now working on trying to enhance the area with the completion of a bricked in pathway throughout the area including a center circular bricked outdoor classroom patio covered with a pergola. Presently, there is just a pretty muddy/mulch/rock pathway that needs to be replaced.
The cost of this part of the project is the most expensive part of the whole project. I have gone to the Sherrard School Board with a proposal and costs. They were willing to help with some of the project costs, but all money towards the improvements have come to a stop since the spread of the COVID19 virus. The money originally allocated had to be redirected for other safety measures and costs to make the school a safer environment for the teachers and students during this epidemic. The school district did pay for the installation of a double door to the courtyard from a hallway so that access to the courtyard would be much easier for further construction. These doors for access were never considered when the additions were being built, so to have the doors added to the exhisting hallway was quite expensive. They paid almost $39,000 to complete that first and most important part of this final phase of the courtyard project. After completing this part of the project, the COVID19 virus attacked and any future allocated money, which may have been committed to this project, had to be redirected for COVID safety costs.
To complete the bricked pathway and the covered patio area, it is going to cost about $55,000, which would have been originally paid for over a 3 year period by the school district. The school board wanted to break down the construction and costs over a three year period with work being done in phases. That never happened and probably will not for a long while now. This is why I decided to go this route to try and raise money for this project to get completed through a go fund me account. The final bricked pathway will be a great addition to this school area, which will be used be all the students throughout the school year. It is a very safe environment because the whole outdoor courtyard area is enclosed within the school walls.
I have added some pictures and costs estimates. All money raised will go directly to the Sherrard School District for this project. Any and all donations will truly be appreciated by the school district and their students. Please consider donating to this very beneifical project for the students of the Sherrard School District #200 which is located just out side of Sherrard, Illinois. The distirct encompasses a large area in Western Illinois and includes several small communities in the Mercer and Rock Island counties. Students from Sherrard, Viola, Matherville, New Windsor, Cable, Coyne Center, South Milan, Swedona, Boden, Preemption and small home additions in the school district all attend Sherrard Community School Disrict #200. All donated funds will be directed to the Sherrard Booster Club as the non-profit for this fundraising event.
Thank you agian,
James Kovac, Sherrard JR/SR High School Courtyard Coordinator