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Claude W. Keefer Industrial Arts Building
at Elmwood High School



Elmwood C.U.S.D. #322 is deeply grateful for the generous outpouring of support from our community and beyond for Industrial Arts education and the new Claude W. Keefer Industrial Arts Building at Elmwood High School.


To honor the vision of Claude W. Keefer, his passionate commitment to our students

and the continued dedicated support of the Elmwood C.U.S.D. #322 Board of Education for Industrial Arts education,

you are invited to join us for an Open House for the new Claude W. Keefer Industrial Arts Building.   


When:  Wednesday, October 18, 2023 - 6:00 P.M.


Where: Elmwood High School

Please park in the student lot at EHS and walk through the

gates (similar to football games) to the

Claude W. Keefer IA building.



Thank you again for your generous support!

Note: Don't forget that paver bricks will be an ongoing fundraising effort for the industrial arts program!  Please contact Julie Seeley in the Elmwood C.U.S.D. #322 Administration office to learn more. (309) 742-8464 or






The Elmwood C.U.S.D. #322 Board of Education has approved Claude's idea of using engraved paver bricks for donor recognition to gratefully acknowledge those who have made a gift of $100 or more. By involving the industrial arts students in the installation process, it will give the students the opportunity to see how people in their community and beyond have supported their education. No donated funds will be used for the paver brick project. Different size bricks will represent the different giving levels:

                                            Principal -    $50,000+                 2 – 12” x 24”          8 lines of text, 42 characters per line 

                                            Visionary -   $10,000 - $49,999         12” x 24”           8 lines of text, 42 characters per line

                                            Champion -  $5000  – $9,999            15” x 15”         10 lines of text, 26 characters per line       

                                            Builder -       $1,000 - $4,999            7.5” x 15”           5 lines of text, 26 characters per line

                                            Ally -             $100 - $999                     4” x 8”             3 lines of text, 16 characters per line

To date, over $248,000 in gifts, gifts of grain, matching gifts and pledges has been raised for the new building! Our deepest thanks to all. We are truly grateful for your support and are privileged the Elmwood Community Foundation can be a conduit for people to support this important Elmwood C.U.S.D. #322 project.

Elmwood High School – Industrial Arts Building

The Elmwood Community Foundation is proud to support this endeavor by partnering with the Elmwood C.U.S.D. #322 to receive charitable donations of support on the school’s behalf. All gifts will receive an appropriate charitable acknowledgment from the ECF for the donor’s records. See our Ways to Give tab for more information on how to support this project.

Why Industrial Arts?

 “The concept of adding an Industrial Arts structure to the current Elmwood High School building would benefit our students significantly.  College and Career Readiness has been a movement for our schools – at the high school level and beyond – for several years now.  Students need to have an opportunity to discover various pathways for post-high school success.  By expanding our facilities with the construction of a dedicated Industrial Arts addition, we are providing students with the opportunity to explore a career in an important sector of our society:  the trades. This would give students that may not be looking to pursue the prototypical college tract, but rather, gain insight and experience into a career where they could immediately start earning wages and work towards proficiency in the field of a particular trade.  Additionally, having an expanded Industrial Arts program would provide all students with additional electives that would open up their daily, high school schedules to a further range of course offerings.” 

Chad Wagner, Elmwood C.U.S.D. #322 Superintendent

White Structure

Claude Keefer, Elmwood C.U.S.D. #322 Board of Education member and retired CAT engineer,
was a steadfast champion for students and especially for the benefits students gain by being exposed to industrial arts and the trades. Claude started Trojan Tool Day eight years ago. Trojan Tool Day was a one-day event designed to introduce Elmwood students to tools, the trades and industrial arts. There was a reason for his dedication to this project; Claude graduated from Elmwood High School in 1971. He credited a teacher at E.H.S. for changing the direction of his life. Claude believed in Industrial Arts and wanted to ensure students today and in the future have that same opportunity. At their regular meeting on August, 29, 2022, the Elmwood C.U.S.D. #322 Board of Education unanimously passed a resolution to name the new industrial arts building, the Claude W. Keefer Industrial Arts building. The estimated cost for the 3000 square foot building is approximately $900,000. Elmwood C.U.S.D. #322 is committed to this project. Any dollar raised through philanthropic giving will be one less dollar the school would be deficit spending for FY23. 

Sadly, Claude passed away on February 6, 2023. The ECF is humbled to be a conduit for this Elmwood C.U.S.D. #322 project by processing charitable gifts of support as we watch Claude's vision come to fruition. 

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White Structure

Elmwood Students at Work:


Thank you for helping us bring more Industrial Arts opportunities to our students!

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