COAL CITY — At a special meeting of the Coal City Community Unit School District No. 1 board of education Wednesday night, the Coal City school board voted 5-1, with one member missing, to approve the school's withdrawal from the Interstate Eight Conference, effective at the start of the 2019-20 school year.
On Monday, Aug. 28, Coal City was in a group of seven schools - along with Lisle, Reed-Custer, Wilmington, Manteno, Herscher and Peotone - that sent an email to the other four remaining Interstate Eight schools - Streator, Westmont, Sandwich and Plano - that the former group would be exploring other conference options.
Streator later sent an email to Westmont, Sandwich and Plano saying that they will explore other conference options as well, opening the door for a new eight-school conference to form.
Seneca has already left the conference and will join the Sangamon Valley Conference for football and wrestling and the Tri-County Conference for all other sports and activities next year.
Coal City principal Mitch Hamann said that there will most likely be discussions of forming a new conference at the next Interstate Eight meeting on Oct. 3. All of the schools that are in the group of eight have been asked to take the matter before their respective school boards prior to the conference meeting.
"We have made it clear many times that this was not our initial goal," Hamann said. "Our initial goal was to keep the Interstate Eight intact. Once that was not possible, then we had to do what we thought was best for our students and our community."