Richland County School District Completes $31.5M Education Project


Richland County High School Undergoes Major Transformation

Richland County Community Unit #1 announces the completion of a $31.5 million addition and renovation of Richland County High School (RCHS) located in Olney, Illinois. Construction Manager Poettker Construction Company and designer BLDD Architects were engaged to modernize the education facility, improve safety and security, and increase accessibility for the 2,400+ student district, while creating a 21st Century learning environment for the students, staff, and community.

“The mission of the school district is to create a partnership with families to ensure a safe and engaging learning environment that provides students with opportunities for academic success, career readiness and life-long learning,” states Chris Simpson, superintendent of Richland County High School. “Our community is excited for the completion of this project by Poettker and BLDD Architects that will bring a modern learning environment to our student.”

The renovation of Richland County High School included demolition of an aging auditorium and classroom areas; a new single main entrance for enhanced safety and security; major accessibility, architectural, mechanical, electrical and plumbing upgrades; and installation of a new fire sprinkler and alarm system. A new wing was constructed utilizing precast concrete and features a new auditorium, fine arts theater, cafeteria, kitchen, common areas, and an auxiliary gymnasium.

“Richland County has been a great teammate to work with from the beginning to the end of this project, both from a school and community standpoint,” said Jon Carroll, Vice President Project Management for Poettker Construction. “We are proud of the project’s success and look forward to continuing our great relationship with Richland County into the future.”

Richland County Community Unit #1 conducted district facility studies and community engagement sessions over a 2-year duration to determine the best long-range plan. The addition and renovation of the nearly 70-year-old campus was implemented in a multi-phase, 18-month schedule to minimize the impact on students and maximize construction activities during the summers and extended breaks. 

About Richland County Community Unit #1

The Richland County School District, located in the counties of Richland, Clay, Jasper, Lawrence, and Wayne, serves approximately 2400 students. In July of 2014, the West Richland School District annexed into the East Richland School District. The following year the school district changed its name, becoming the Richland County School District. The school district employs 155 licensed staff, 140 educational support staff, and 10 administrators, making it one of the top three employers in Richland County. There are four main facilities within the Richland County School District, including Richland County Elementary School, Richland County Middle School, Richland County High School, and a Transportation/Bus Barn. The district office has been integrated into the northeast corner of the high school facility.

About Poettker Construction Company

Poettker Construction Company is a relationship-driven construction firm specializing in construction management, design/build, general contracting and self-perform services. Established in 1980, Poettker actively serves local, regional and national clients from its offices in Breese, Ill. and Charlotte, and continues to expand its diverse portfolio in commercial, distribution, mixed-use, municipal, educational, federal government, healthcare, hospitality, industrial, recreational, retail, and energy markets. Poettker is a multi-generation, family-owned and veteran-owned business with outstanding client ratings for safety, quality, collaboration, sustainability, financial management, and communication. For more information, visit

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