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City of Aurora aims to give grant to STEM school

AurorMayor Tom Weisner talks students from Amazing Summer Science program AU after Thursday's announcement $2.3 milligrant for STEM school for

Aurora Mayor Tom Weisner talks to students from the Amazing Summer Science program at AU after Thursday's announcement of a $2.3 million grant for a STEM school for Aurora area students.

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Updated: September 23, 2013 2:40PM

AURORA — As school construction begins, the city of Aurora will likely give Aurora University a $220,000 grant to be used toward the new STEM Academy.

The John C. Dunham STEM Partnership School, which will focus on a science, technology, engineering and math curriculum, will be housed at the university and accept third to eighth-graders from four local school districts.

Mayor Tom Weisner first announced plans to grant the Dunham Fund money in his State of the City address in March.

The city will use money received from a lawsuit settlement to fund the grant. In February, the city received $212,190 from the settlement of a lawsuit associated with the investment of proceeds from the city’s 2003-A single-family mortgage revenue bonds, according to city Finance Director Brian Caputo.

The grant will be paid in a lump sum in August.

Weisner said the STEM Academy is a wise city investment that will put the city on the forefront of education nationally.

On July 26, Aurora University announced that the state had allocated $3.5 million in capital funding to support the construction of the STEM school. The state funding announcement put the university about $2 million shy of its $12 million goal.

The Aurora University Board of Trustees approved final plans for the construction of the John C. Dunham STEM Partnership School in July and construction began immediately. AU officials are planning for the school to be open for the 2014-15 school year and will accept 200 students from East Aurora, West Aurora, Indian Prairie and Oswego school districts, according to Ted Page, AU executive vice president.

Aldermen will vote on the proposal at City Council at 6 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall, 44 E. Downer Place.

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