Rallying support for new school

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CREAL SPRINGS, IL - People of all ages were out in full force Saturday rallying against one local group's push to block plans for a new school.

Families crowded the town square in Marion, Illinois holding signs showing support for a new school in Creal Springs.

In December the Marion Unit Two School Board voted to issue $12-million in bonds to replace the 100-year-old Creal Springs Elementary School. Attorney Ron Osman is organizing a petition drive to take the power away from the board and instead give it to voters in Williamson County.

Saturday's group opposes that decision and is rallying for more support.

"We're trying to say don't vote for that petition," Joan Smith said. "Let them go ahead and build that school at Creal because they need that school so bad."

And Carol Fletcher agreed saying, "It's just crazy what they're doing. These are children! They should be our first and only concern. These children have to go to school and we need to provide them a safe environment."

Petitioners need to collect 1,352 signatures by Wednesday.

JANUARY 14, 2010 REPORT

CREAL SPRINGS, IL - One group can't wait to build a new school but an opposing group is trying hard to stop it.

Last month the Marion Unit Two School Board voted to issue $12-million in bonds to replace the 100-year-old Creal Springs Elementary School with a state of the art building. However, a group of petitioners is working hard to take that power away from the board and instead give it to voters in Williamson County.

The attorney who supports the petition drive, Ron Osman, and the Creal Springs Principal talked with us about the growing rift.

"If they sign it it's a detriment to the kids here at Creal Springs," Principal Andy Shelby said. "We're looking forward to them going and building a new school. The school board officials were elected and they made the right decision for the tax payers and the kids."

Osman said, "I'm certainly agreed that those students in that building is not a good learning environment, but I don't believe that the public has spoke about yet, is whether or not the solution to that problem is to spend $12-million on a school that will then disrupt the education flow of 165 students." Osman is referring to the students from Marion who will attend elementary school in the new Creal Springs school if it's built.

Petitioners need to collect 1,352 signatures by Wednesday.

DECEMBER 17, 2009 REPORT

CREAL SPRINGS, IL - A local community is getting a brand new school.

The Creal Springs School Board approved replacing the 100-year-old school with a brand new $12-million facility. They plan to pay for the new school with a one-percent sales tax increase, and alternative bonds, over the coarse of 12 years. The district also expects to receive state and federal grants to help pay for the school.

If those grants come through, the $12-million cost could be paid off before the district's 12-year goal.

To watch video of a past story, click here.

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