Harrisburg High School in need of costly repairs

By Arnold Wyrick - bio | email

HARRISBURG, IL (KFVS) - After more then a hundred years of students walking it's halls, the Harrisburg High School is starting to show it's age.

Originally built in 1902 and expanded over the years, the school now has numerous leaks and structure failures that need to be repaired.

"Which are getting up towards $4-million for this building," said Superintendent Dennis Smith.

"It's actually the public who have said wait a minute we're not sure we want to put that kind of money into a building that's one hundred and ten years old."

So school leaders invited the public to come tour the old school house and see for themselves the problems. And then sit down and discuss what to do about them.

"I really think that everybody would like to be able to afford a new school. And I would like a new school," said Terry Maynard

"And even if we put it in a sales tax the have not's are still going to have to pay."

"It's a beautiful campus people," said Don Cooper.

"I've lived across the street from this campus for 53 years. And we've made so many mistakes before, let's not make any big mistakes this time."

But, now the cost to repair all the problems at the high school is more than nine million dollars.

"This building has been neglected for a number of years. And we've got to get in the mindset to fix it and make it safe for the kids," said Superintendent Smith.

School leaders say they really don't have any other alternative then to fix the building. Because there is no money to build a new one at this time.

"If we could build a new one here on this location and have 40 classrooms, and tie it into our current athletic facility, it's probably in the upper 20's to 30-million dollars. If we move to a new location then we would probably have to build a new athletic facility. And you're talking about another $12-million to do that."

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