WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Athletic Co-op Almost Finalized

Apr 12, 2013

Two school districts in western Illinois are now on the verge of creating a new athletic co-op.

The West Prairie School Board approved the co-op during a special meeting on April 11. The Bushnell-Prairie City School Board will be asked to do likewise during its regular meeting in April.

The districts already co-op boy’s and girl’s track and will continue to do so. The new agreement will add football, baseball, and softball beginning in the 2014-15 school year.

West Prairie Superintendent Jonathan Heerboth does not expect the co-op to save money, but he said it should improve the quality of activities for students.

West Prairie High School
Credit Rich Egger

“In every way, when you can work together with neighbors to build programs together, I think that makes everything better for kids,” said Heerboth.

Heerboth said revenues and expenses will be shared equally between the districts.

The agreement also calls for creation of a co-op committee, which will include the superintendent, high school principal, athletic, and two board members from each district.

The new teams will be known as Bushnell-West Prairie. The nickname and mascot will be chosen by the respective student bodies. It will not be a current team name. The co-op committee will decide on the mechanism for choosing the team name and mascot.

B-PC currently co-ops with Avon, but that arrangement will end when Avon consolidates with Abingdon later this year.