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Turning an Eye to Vocational Education

Turning an eye to vocational education

The goal was simple – enhance their facilities and provide an equitable learning environment for every student in the district.  This has been the guiding star for the Galesburg Community Unit School District (CUSD) #205, in Galesburg, IL, over a multi-year initiative beginning in 2011.

From the initial launch of Galesburg CUSD’s facility improvement plan, Russell Construction & Development (Russell) has served the district as a trusted Construction Manager for over $115 million in renovation, new construction, and addition projects. These include the renovation of three elementary schools, one middle-school, a multi-phased improvement of the high school, and most recently, the relocation and build-out of the Galesburg Area Vocational Center (GAVC).

The GAVC is a unique separately funded, and run, entity by the local Career Education Training Center, providing hands-on learning opportunities for students interested in technical education, for nearly 64 years. Students from Galesburg and nine surrounding school districts can enroll in programs focused on careers in automotive, construction, teaching, fire science, culinary arts, and law enforcement.

Originally, the school district planned to renovate the former GAVC, which had been housed within the walls of Galesburg High School since 1957. However, during the conceptual planning stages it was determined that the space occupied by the GAVC was needed to support the consolidation and relocation of grades 7 thru 8 – essentially converting the building into a Jr./Sr. High School facility.  The GAVC would be relocated to a vacant former department store across the street from its current location, which provided a more cost-effective solution for the district, and offered more opportunities for expansion to the GAVC!

Russell collaborated with long-time partner, Legat Architects, to create a realistic project scope that aligned with the district’s budget and goals. The $1.5 million, 23,000 s.f. modern facility features state-of-the-art equipment and machinery, an auto shop, machine shop, robotics and CNC area, woodshop, labs, and classrooms.

Galesburg CUSD #205 saw the relocation of the GAVC as an opportunity to enhance the program during a time of heightened focus and investment in vocational careers. The hands-on learning opportunities provided by this new center set up students for job and financial stability while addressing the need for skilled workers in the community.

As a repeat client, we are honored to help build a strong foundation for Galesburg CUSD #205 and its students and families.

For more information on the Galesburg Area Vocational Center (GAVC), please visit their website at:

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