10 million dollar school consolidation stirs up emotions in community

BUDA, Illinois  --  A Quad City area community is losing more than 100 years of history. Bureau Valley South, an elementary school in Buda, will close its doors at the end of the year.

Starting in August 2019, students will go to a new school 15 minutes away in Manlius.

The new school will be attached to Bureau Valley High School.

"In rural communities, population is dropping," school board president Don King said. "We don't have any new infrastructure, or new businesses coming in, so our school population has been going down."

King said in the last 15 years, the school population has gone down 20%.

The vote was in April 2018. It was a close vote, 51% yes and 49% no.

"It got very personal, resident Julie Hill said. "I'm surprised there weren't physical fights over it. I voted no. I just didn't want to lose the school and I thought there was a better way of doing it."

"You have people that have lived in this community forever," King said. 'They have a natural attachment to it. You also have parents that have commute problems."

The new school is 10 miles away from the current school. King says there will also be bus transportation.

"Memories are created in your heart," school principal Kristal LeRette said. "You really don't need the physical building, because your memories will never go away."

The money for the new school came from a referendum bond. King says it is a 10 and a half million dollar project.

"There was no cuts to employees," King said. "It was just more of a consolidation."

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