Board to decide what to do with vacant elementary school building

Board to decide what to do with vacant elementary school building

GRAND TOWER, IL (KFVS) - It’s unclear what the future holds for Shawnee Elementary North School

As school board members must decide to sell the building or keep it.

“This school is the heart of this town," said Grand Tower Mayor Michael Ellet.

Ellet says he wants to see the city take ownership of the soon to be vacant Shawnee Elementary North School.

He says the uses for the building are endless and fears that a new owner won’t take care of it.

“If we have to have fundraiser's, whatever, if the school wants us to do the closing costs we do not want them to just give it to us.”

Homecomings, events, funerals and town hall meetings.

Lorie Norton Williams says the same thing.

She says she doesn’t want to see the building turned in to a bar, an unnecessary business or a scrap yard.

“That is the center of our town that is something we do not need,” said Norton.

And it can be transformed in to something more useful, for kids and adults alike.

She says some sort of community center is exactly what Grand Tower needs.

“It is something to do in small communities that are important because there is nothing to do,” said Norton.

But another group, who didn’t want to go on camera, says the district is desperate for money and needs funding for projects.

Some say the building, which sits only 14-years-old, could bring some much needed cash.

There was a meeting earlier this week where folks voiced their opinions.

Ultimately, the decision will come down to a seven board member vote in April.

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