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RLAS-116 Awarded Grant for Preschool Expansion!

RLAS-116 Awarded Grant for Preschool Expansion!

We are excited to announce that RLAS-116 is one of 8 school districts in Illinois to be awarded an Early Childhood Construction Grant. This will allow for the expansion of the District’s current preschool programming! 238 districts applied for this competitive opportunity.

The Early Childhood Construction Grant is part of Governor Pritzker’s Rebuild Illinois capital plan; a $60 million initiative providing funding to early childhood centers. RLAS-116 was awarded $6.4 million through this grant. These funds, combined with $1.8 million in dedicated funds from John and Kathy Schreiber and $1.7 million in District funding, will bring the following benefits to the RLAS-116 early childhood community.

Students Served Expansion

The current preschool program provides half-day learning experiences to approximately 300 students. With the additional funds from a variety of previously awarded early childhood grants, in addition to the newly awarded Early Childhood Construction Grant, the District will now be able to support 80 additional preschool children. Facility and programmatic enhancements will also support 70 additional children within the District’s Prevention Initiative program.

Programming Enhancements

With renovations to the current Early Education Center building, program enhancements will include:

  • Spaces to support students’ gross motor skills

  • New sensory room

  • Library

  • Space for evaluations, assessments, and confidential parent/staff meetings

  • Full meal service

  • Family resource center and children’s museum for engaging activities


Facility Renovations

Additional facility updates will include enhanced HVAC and electrical, telephone modifications, updated bathrooms, lighting, flooring and paint, on-site storage for program resources and materials, and improved ADA accessibility.


Renovations will be made to the current Early Education Center and Administrative Service Center so that all current and new preschool students will be able to attend school in this one location. Plans are being developed to determine where the Administrative Service Center staff will be located once preschool expansion renovations are complete.


Renovations are tentatively scheduled to begin during the 2023-2024 school year. The intent is to open the expanded preschool program at the start of the 2024-2025 school year.

This opportunity would not be possible without the dedication of our grant writing team, our Board of Education’s commitment to funding a portion of the expansion, and our essential community partners! The funding commitment of $1.8 million by John and Kathy Schreiber, who are Lake County residents and philanthropists with a special interest in early childhood education, created a very strong piece to our grant application. This partnership is an excellent example of how those across our community, county, and state can come together to create amazing educational opportunities for our children and their families.

We look forward to providing our community with regular updates as we progress into the next phases of this construction project. If you have any questions about this information, please contact Heather Bennett, Executive Director of Engagement & Community Relations at