Walnut Grove Elementary Could Be Closing Its Doors
If the school board approves the recommendation, the school will close after 2013-2014 school yearPhoto: Video by kmtv.com
CREATED Apr. 18, 2013
Council Bluffs, IOWA -- It could be the end of the line for Walnut Grove Elementary School.
The Council Bluffs Community School District said the facility is outdated and needs to be remodeled.
Teresa Valyer has a long history with Walnut Grove Elementary.
"My grandson is the third generation here," said Valyer. "It means a lot to our family. It means a lot to our whole area. It's the only thing that holds us together."
The school has been around since the 1920s. The district said it will cost up to $10 million to remodel.
"The cost to renovate it is part of the decision, but the real determinant was the fact there is room in other schools, adjacent to Walnut Grove, to take those kids," said Superintendent of Schools Martha Bruckner.
The old school needs several upgrades. A few of those are more accessibility for disabled students, better fire escapes and security at the main entrance.
A district committee looked at every option and is recommending the school is shut down.
Students would be sent to other schools that will feed them into the same middle and high schools.
"We will take care of your child," said Bruckner. "We will work with him or her to be sure they know where they're going, they know which of their classmates are going to school with them and which of the teachers will be there with them. We will have open houses and welcoming venues. There will be a whole year's worth of welcoming."
Parents Action 3 News spoke with said they're concerned how their kids would be affected.
"Some of these kids have gone to school with each other for years so I think it'll just be hard for all the kids," said Diane White, whose two kids attend Walnut Grove.
"We don't care what is on the outside of our building," she said. "We want good teachers on the inside teaching our kids."
The school board will listen to recommendations at its meeting next Tuesday.
If the board votes in favor of the recommendation, the facility would shut down after next school year.
The future of Walnut Grove could come before the end of this current school year.