Metro East community fights to stop sale of closed school

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by Brittany Noble / News 4

KMOV.com

Posted on October 2, 2013 at 6:45 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 2 at 7:00 PM

 (KMOV) – A Metro East Community is outraged that the building they hoped would turn into a community center was actually sold to a tow yard.

The Curtis Miller Alternative School was shut down in May. Every since then Alorton Mayor Joann Reed has been fighting to make this building a community center.

“We don’t have anything left anything left that symbolizes a community where children go to school or some type of community center,” said Mayor Reed.  

The East St. Louis School District owns the newly closed alternative school and said they needed the money. School representatives say their students have not had new math books in ten years and the sale of the school will bring thousands of much needed dollars.

“Our community has lost every school we ever had and at this point we do not have anything for our youth,” said Mayor Reed.

Alorton is a part of the East St. Louis School District 189 and this week the district decided to sell the building to Grand Street Auto, a towing company next door for $104,000.

“Everyone agrees the community center was a worthwhile endeavor. But it came down to what are the needs of our children,” said Beth Sheppard with the East St. Louis School District.

“I don’t see where $100,000 will significantly impact the budget in East St. Louis. They are saying the money is going to math books, they haven’t had any in ten years,” said Mayor Reed

District 189 is facing a $4.9 million budget deficit. Because of that- officials told News 4, Superintendent Arthur Culver recommended they sell the school.

“When the protest was going on I was promised by the super that I would be taken care of so I feel mislead because I went away quietly,” said Mayor Reed.  

The board did table the sale for a month before deciding to move forward.   Mayor Reed said she’s not done fighting and will try to work with the salvage yard to save the property.

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