Q: What is going up in the old Holy Family School on 16th Street between Washington and Fillmore streets in Davenport? I notice it’s being renovated, and there’s a whole new building that’s connected to it.
— Doris, Davenport
A: Renovations began earlier this year on the former Jackson School, located just a few blocks from its sister property, the former Taylor School, which has been converted into a senior living facility. The Jackson Renaissance project is expected to be completed by May 2013. It mirrors the Taylor concept and will have 48 senior living units.
Along with renovation of the school building, an addition is being constructed at Jackson, as was done at Taylor. Renaissance Realty Group, a Chicago-based company, owns both facilities. Jackson, constructed in 1893 as Grammar School No. 6 and renovated in 1902, is located at 1420 W. 16th St. Jackson School was purchased in 1943 by Holy Family Church and used as a school until 1964.
Q: Since the election is Tuesday, Nov. 6, why does the information with the absentee ballots say that they must be received in the county auditor’s office by Nov. 13? If this is because of the Electoral College vote later, would these ballots possibly change the outcome of the election?
— Doris, Davenport
A: According to information posted on the Scott County Auditor’s Office website, as long as the absentee ballot is postmarked no later than the day before Election Day and it arrives at the auditor’s office before the official canvass, your ballot will be counted. The official canvass of the votes is scheduled for Nov. 13.
There are situations in which the outcome of a very close race could possibly change at the canvass if there are more ballots to add to the unofficial results reported on election night. The time delay allows for absentee ballots to arrive from a distance, such as from overseas service members, but they must meet the postmark deadline.
Q: Regarding the article about video gambling starting in Illinois, my question is what percent of the amount wagered is returned to the gambler or the bettor?
— John, East Moline
A: As previously reported, the video gambling terminals must pay out the same percentage in winnings as what is paid out by casinos — between 80 percent and 100 percent of what is wagered.
The amount likely will vary based on the competition for gambling dollars within a community. If there are lots of machines in a town, the owners may have to set them up to pay out a higher percentage in order to keep people playing those machines.
If the machines are scarce in an area, the owner might lower the percentages of winning, knowing there is a captive audience. In the casino business in Illinois, the percentage payouts typically range from about 89 percent to 94 percent.
(Answers provided by Times reporter Doug Schorpp, community editor Linda Watson and Times archives.)