Chief Operations Officer of Rockford Public Schools Todd Schmidt says “its not ADA compliant right now. We have issues with some of the mechanical systems and the electrical systems that don’t support all the technology that we need in the classroom right now.”
Cost of repairs is one reason why the school is slated to close in 2 out of 3 Rockford Public Schools consolidation plans. It would be consolidated with Kishwaukee, and a new building would be built.
Unlike other school closures, parents at the input session for Nelson Elementary support it being torn down. Nelson Elementary Parent David Law says “with a school as old as Nelson which is over 100 years old, sometimes old things need to go for new things to come.”
Ed Mihevc of Rockford says “I think this facility is very old and I think a new updated 21st century school would be very good for this part of Rockford.”
Gary Schwerin who had children that went to Nelson but now volunteers there says “it’s got a lot of character, but I think it isn’t effective. It’s not a good use of space. High ceilings, lot of heat loss, that sort of thing, and it’s kind of a patched together building so why not have a new building.”
Schwerin is fine with consolidation as long as the students don’t have to travel too far. The school Nelson would be consolidating with, Kishwaukee is slated to close on all three plans.