Monday, Mar 10, 2014
Meridian School District Needs New Library Books
MOUNDS -- Educators in the Meridian school district are finalizing plans to replace the elementary school and some of the materials left behind in the building. The school was shut down last spring because of toxic mold.
Students have been sharing classrooms at the high school ever since and even going without some of their books.
The building was officially condemned in October and a lot of the technology was salvaged. But thousands of books in the library are a total loss.
Almost half the school year has passed since the Meridian school district was forced to hold classes on a split schedule.
"Everybody's pulled together and taken a difficult situation and made it work. And you know, we've overcome a lot of obstacles but things are going quite smoothly," says elmentary school principal Brent Boren.
Since the beginning of the school year, all the students have been sharing classrooms at high school. But materials have become an issue, especially books.
"The amount of labor involved to clean the books was going to be more than the value of the books. So, we were unable to bring the books out," says Boren.
The University of Illinois Extension stepped in to help, with a campaign to replace library books that were destroyed by mold.
"You want to see the kids be able to go in and enjoy the books," says University of Illinois Extension County Director Jody Johnson.
The school has already received thousands of books from the community and various organizations. Right now they're looking for books to help their accelerator reader program.
"At the primary level, it's very important to instill the belief that reading is fun. And the library allows kids to go in and find literature that they want to read," says Boren.
Plans to replace the condemned school are still a long tedious process. The idea is to build an addition onto the high school where the grade school building stands now. Until then, the district hopes to bring in temporary classrooms, so kids can return to a regular schedule. They would like to have those ready in the spring.
"We're working through several different funds to secure money for the mobile classrooms as well as securing money from the capital development board, for the addition to the high school," says Boren.
After the temporary classrooms are in place, it's expected to take two years to complete construction on the new addition.
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