Local school board votes to renovate century-old high school

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Reporter - Kathryn DiGisi
Web Editor - Mason Stevenson

HARRISBURG, Ill. - After voters in Harrisburg, Illinois chose not to rebuild their century-old high school, the school board has decided to move forward with renovating the school.

They say repairs have to be made in order to keep the school safe and to keep the students' education up to speed.

Superintendent Dennis Smith is working to move forward after the people of Harrisburg voted to keep the old building.

At Tuesday night's board meeting, faculty and citizens tossed around ideas about a game-plan and a construction time-line.  They also discussed the best use of the $4 million in tax money the district already has to pay for the repairs.

"We'll just make that old building as educationally friendly as we can, as safe as we can. It's going to take a lot of money to do that, but we have the sales tax money and if that's where it gets channeled into, that's what we're going to do," Smith told Local 6.

Smith says at the end of the day, he's not dwelling on the disappointing outcome.  Instead he's focusing on the kids.

He said, "When you walk into a building that old it can be an oppressive atmosphere. When you have ceiling tiles falling down, computers that are wet because the ceiling plaster's hitting it of waters leaking, I don't know, maybe the kids are looking around thinking who's recalling caring?"

The board is also looking in to a new heating and air system, which is estimated to cost an additional $2 million.

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