Cairo, IL schools impacted by Housing and Urban Development requ - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Cairo, IL schools impacted by Housing and Urban Development requirements

CAIRO, IL (KFVS) -

Finding a new place to live isn't the only problem plaguing hundreds of people in Cairo dealing with public housing closures. Local schools also take a hit as children move away with families. 

"This is going to permanently change our community," said superintendent Dr. Andrea Evers.

Evers said she couldn’t believe her district could lose hundreds of student with the demolition of the housing complexes.

“Every student is known by name and face. We know who their parents are, who their grandparents are...I mean it is a very friendly, caring, supportive network of caring individuals who support each other,” said Evers.

Evers also said there are 435 student K-12 in Cairo School District, and nearly half of those children will have to relocate.

“We are in quite a predicament," said Evers.

A predicament, Evers fears, that will not only hurt educational funding but also the community many jobs.

“We are going to have to adjust to the enrollment changes so people will lose jobs. That’s a horrible, horrible thing," she said.

"In choosing this course of action and making these 180 families relocate across the nation, they are destroying a community," said Evers.

"They are destroying... And I fear if it proceeds as planned, this is something that we will not recover from. Cairo will never be the same."

Melvin Duncan lives in the McBride complex. He also works at the school, which his daughter attends.

“It’s tearing the town apart as everyone knows... Because there are so many people that deal with the school district. The kids in the school district, jobs that’s going to be lost. I don’t …I don’t know what my state of mind is,” said Duncan.

Duncan was bringing a cake to his daughter to her Headstart graduation, which he fears may be her last one here in Cairo.

“I'm upset but it’s life. When problems arise... You have to find a way to deal with it," Duncan said. 

“Aside from a miracle we’re really going to need the help of our state and federal elected officials,” said Evers.

Cairo School District is one of the largest employers of Alexander County, with about 78 employees.

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