VENICE - Venice CUSD #3 was awarded $26 million in funding, provided by the Capital Development Board through an emergency school construction grant.

Cynthia Tolbert, the Venice School superintendent.In September 2020, Venice Elementary School in Venice, Illinois was condemned due to structural issues. Students and staff attending Venice Elementary vacated the building, attending school virtually for the entire 2020-2021 school year.

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“It was a difficult year,” stated Superintendent Cynthia Tolbert.

“We were not only dealing with the challenges of the COVID-19 Pandemic and virtual learning, but the Board of Education was also trying to locate a temporary school to house students.” For the 2021-2022 school year, Venice Elementary school was in a temporary location at the Melvin Price Depot located in Granite City.

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Tolbert successfully led the district in the demolition of the condemned elementary school in 2021, located on 300 South 4th Street. Assisted by Venice Board of Education officials, the Venice Unit Community School District #3 secured $26 million in July 2022. An emergency school construction grant will fund the construction of a new school for Venice CUSD #3, provided by the Capital Development Board in conjunction with the Illinois State Board of Education.

“The community and school district are beyond excited about building a new school for our Venice students in the near future,” stated Tolbert. “We are appreciative of the advocacy and work from Gov. J.B. Pritzker, state Rep. Jay Hoffman, state Sen. Christopher Belt and all who played a part and stepped up to make this funding a reality. This project is going to be a real pillar for our community.”

The beginning stages of designing and planning for the construction of a new school building are underway. “The New Building District Committee and I are looking forward to leading this new construction initiative,” stated Tolbert.

The school district has until 2027 to complete the construction of the new elementary school. The plan is to build where the old Venice High School was located at 700 Broadway in Venice.