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September 25, 2013


Susan Vancil

Communications Manager

Stormwater Management Commission


Leaders To Gather for Demolition of Historically Flooded Gurnee Grade School
State, County, Park District, and School District Leaders will gather for the demolition of the repetitively flooded Gurnee Grade School. 


Christine Stack, Mitigation Division Director, FEMA Region V
State Senator Melinda Bush (31st)
Lake County Board Chairman Aaron Lawlor
Gurnee Grade School District 56 Superintendent John Hutton
Gurnee Mayor Kristina Kovarik
Gurnee Park District Executive Director Susie Kuruvilla
Lake County Stormwater Management Commission Chairman Jim Barkemeyer
Lake County Stormwater Management Commission Executive Director Mike Warner

Monday, Sept. 30
10 a.m. Introductions, comments from guest speakers   
10:45 a.m. Demolition and brick give-away
Old Gurnee Grade School, 940 Kilbourne Road, Gurnee

Gurnee Grade School was built in the 1950's before floodplains were identified. The school was located within 600 feet of the Des Plaines River in what is now mapped as floodway.  As the watershed changed and storm events intensified, the school regularly flooded. The cost of responding to each flood, including sandbagging efforts, relocating students, and clean up and remediation reached $300,000 per event. District 56 Superintendent John Hutton and the Gurnee Grade School District 56 Board began efforts to find a permanent solution to the flooding. Engineering studies and mitigation best practices determined the most economically feasible alternative was to remove the building from the floodplain and restore the flood-prone site to open space. SMC received a $3.2 million Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity "IKE" grant to acquire the school and a $750,000 Illinois Emergency Management Agency grant to fund demolition and site restoration.

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