Originally Posted Online: Nov. 13, 2012, 10:18 pm
Last Updated: Nov. 14, 2012, 7:39 am

Fareway to buy Audubon School for $475,000

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By Anthony Watt, awatt@qconline.com

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Photo: Todd Mizener
Audubon School in Rock Island, opened in 1922, has been sold to Fareway Stores Inc. The district ended the school's use in 2010. Details of Fareway's planned grocery store at the site have not yet been announced.

Fareway Stores Inc. is buying the former Audubon Elementary School in Rock Island.

At its Tuesday night meeting, the Rock Island/Milan school board approved entering a contract to sell the school at 2601 18th Ave. to Fareway for $475,000.

Thepurchase agreement stipulates Fareway must complete certain requirements within 120 days, such as getting the property zoned for use as a grocery store, obtaining the required permits and licenses for construction and entering into a development agreement with the city of Rock Island.

The 44,000-square-foot school was built in 1922, according to the district. It closed when school boundaries were adjusted in 2009, with Eugene Field Elementary School absorbing most of the students.

In the 2009-2010 school year, the building became the Center for Math and Science. It closed again in June 2010 when the new Center for Math & Science opened a few blocks away.

Also on Tuesday, the school board unanimously approved a one-year contract for the 2012-2013 school year with employees represented by the Rock Island Education Association. Thecontract retains raises based on years with the district and raises for teaches who further their education while with the district, according to a contract summary provided at Tuesday's meeting.

The formula for the raises will remain the same as last school year, according to school officials. Teachers not receiving a time-based raise will receive a 1 percent salary increase for the year.

The contract also includes a decrease in a series of raises Rock Island/Milan teachers traditionally receive leading up to retirement.Previously, they received 6 percent raises each of the last four years before retirement, according to the summary. That rate has been lowered to 5 percent for the final four years.

Board members also heard principals of Frances Willard, Denkmann, Ridgewood and Eugene Field elementary schools discuss goals for improving performance in the 2012-2013 school year.Of the district's 13 schools, only Eugene Fields met all federal No Child Left Behind requirements for student scores on state reading and math tests, district assistant superintendent Jeff Zoul said.

Each school is shooting for incremental improvements to reading and math scores. All district schools face a higher federal benchmark of 92.5 percent of students meeting requirements in both math and reading.