MOUNT MORRIS, Ill. (WTVO) — The Oregon School Board voted Monday to close DLR Junior High School at the end of the 2021-2022 school year.
Members of the community, by and large, wanted the school to remain open, but Oregon School District superintendent Dr. Tom Mahoney made the recommendation to close it in May.
Mahoney said his recommendation was based on the school district’s current financial status, saying the district has been operating at a $410,000 budget deficit over the past five years.
A recent survey of the school building’s infrastructure in the Fall revealed that almost $6 million in improvements to DLR Junior High School would be needed to bring the building up to modern code and safety standards.
A commissioned study by the University of Illinois determined it would be in the district’s best interest to close the school and save over $200,000 annually in operational costs.
“The future is very bright for Oregon. I think the position while upsetting to some people, this is a very good position to be able to offer a lot of different things to the kids, as opposed to doing what we’ve been doing, which is constantly cutting and worrying about financial issues,” said school board president, Bryan Wills.
Middle school students, who were welcomed back today for DLR’s final academic year, will be relocated to Oregon High School next year.