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Rotary Vilardo

Superintendent Todd Vilardo detailed projects the school district is accomplishing with sales tax revenue.

CHARLESTON -- Todd Vilardo, superintendent of Charleston schools, recently told the Charleston Rotary Club how the district is using the sales tax referendum revenue.

Coles County voters in 2016 approved a sales tax increase that the Charleston, Mattoon and Oakland school districts can use on facilities.

Vilardo told Rotary members that the Charleston district receives approximately $157,000 a month. A district facilities committee looks at projects needed that can benefit from the added revenue.

One project is to replace the roof at Jefferson Elementary School. The original roof was installed in the 1940s, Vilardo said.

Other construction/remodeling projects to be tackled include the Carl Sandburg School gym, the roof at Mark Twain Elementary, drainage issues at three elementary schools and some heating and air conditioning issues.

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District officials already announced they are combining some of the sales tax funds with a grant from the Charleston Charitable Foundation to build new science labs at the high school.

“There’s no way we could do these things without the community support through the 1 percent sales tax,” Vilardo said.

The superintendent said school officials also would like to purchase the former Twice as Nice building on 18th Street and repair a storage building the district owns near Jefferson School.

The district also is setting aside 20 percent of the sales tax revenue for emergencies until the fund reaches $1 million.

Charleston Rotary has served the Charleston community for more than 90 years. One of the club’s main services is geared toward youth. Rotary meets at noon each Tuesday in the Rotary Room of the Charleston Public Library. More information is at Charlestonrotary.wordpress.com and on Facebook at Rotary Club of Charleston.

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