In a release from Landmarks Illinois, the organization described three RPS 205 schools, all set to be closed, as “historic endangered places.”
Landmarks Illinois says Nelson, Walker and Kishwaukee Elementary Schools are “architecturally significant and prominent anchors in their neighborhoods.” They’re advocating for community residents to push for public discussions about the future of the buildings as they become vacant.
RPS officials say the Rockford School Board decided to close the schools with a “tremendous amount of input from the community.”
A Rockford School Board subcommittee, the Building Disposition Committee, is currently developing a process to remove the buildings from the district in a transparent way that includes feedback from neighbors of the schools.
Walker is the first of the three schools set to close. RPS has scheduled three community meetings to collect feedback on what neighbors want to see done with the school:
- April 14 at Roosevelt Community Education Center, 7 p.m.
- April 20 at Walker Elementary School, 7 p.m.
- May 12 at Cathedral of St. Peter, 7 p.m.
The same process will be repeated for the other building in the coming years.
Administrators have already met with community organizations about the potential redevelopment for the school sites, including with the Rockford Park District, City of Rockford and Winnebago County.
RPS officials say if the district does demolish any of the sites, they’ll work closely with Landmarks Illinois to preserve the history of each of the buildings.