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R.I. Schools Complete Renovations

Zach Wilson, WVIK News
The front desk in the new main office of Edison Junior High in Rock Island.

Thanks to the local option tax for schools, more than $1 million of construction projects have been completed in the Rock Island-Milan School District. They include improved security at three schools including Edison Junior High, which also received renovations to its main office and library.

Credit Zach Wilson, WVIK News
Bookshelves at the new library at Edison Junior High.

District spokeswoman Holly Sparkman says the schools are much safer as a result.

"The buildings were reconfigured to include a secure front entryway, so visitors have to go to the main office before they have any access to the school building."

In late 2016, after several failed attempts, voters in Rock Island County approved a 1% sales tax for schools. 

Credit Zach Wilson, WVIK News
A sign in the front entrance of the school. New security measures and a reconfiguration of its main office prevent people from entering without first going through the front office. Visitors also have to get "buzzed in."

Now, it has raised over $3 million per year for renovations in the Rock Island-Milan School District.

The tax helped pay for more than 800,000 dollars worth of construction and renovation at Edison Junior High. The school was originally built in 1925, and hadn't had major renovations since 1970.