Memories abound for former Lincoln students

The demolition continues on the old Lincoln School in Rock Island.

After years of being abandoned, the structure is being torn down.

A large audience turned out to watch the start of the demolition process.

The building isn’t just any old building to Delona Kennedy and Joyce Anderson.

The two friends went to school at Lincoln.

“My third-grade teacher, Mrs. Hutchison, was right there on that first floor,” said Anderson.

“Started here in the 4th grade,” said Kennedy. “When I moved here to Rock Island, my dad was called to work at the Arsenal.”

Delona and Joyce are part of the 1950 club as they call themselves.

They graduated high school that year.

On Monday, they were in the street for a different kind of reunion.

“I’d rather it be torn down than stay empty,” she said. “I feel sad when I see a building empty for so long.”

For almost 30 years, the Lincoln School went unoccupied.

It’s been around more than 100 years, so neighbors tried to save it.

No buyer came forward and it was determined too costly to maintain.

“It’s a sad day for everybody that went to this school,” said Sebastiana Freiberg, who has two nieces who went to school at Lincoln.

She thinks there could have been other options for the building.

“A studio for the college kids, maybe dorms or something,” she said.

Instead, the old Lincoln School will soon be a thing of the past as piece by piece and brick by brick, it’s torn down.

Its removal won’t wash away the memories for former students like Joyce.

“Oh yeah, good memories. I can’t think of any bad memories.”

The demo is expected to last for a couple of weeks.

There are no current plans for what the space will be used for.

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