CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — The demolition of Dr. Howard Elementary School officially started Monday.
The building on Park Street is being torn down to make room for a new school. You build stuff up brick-by-brick. At Dr. Howard, that’s the way it’s coming down.
Former students and teachers were outside watching.
“My sister and I both went to elementary school here and so did my mom. I don’t know, it’d just be nice to remember. Right now, they’re tearing up right where we had our 4th and 5th grade classrooms.”
“Well, actually 30-years ago, I substituted in the school. It was in bad shape then. It needs a new school.”
Reactions were mixed.
“This kind of hurts. I just live a couple blocks down there. My wife and daughter went there. When they built this thing, it was practically out in the cornfield.”
“They have mixed emotions too. It’s a grand old building and has such great memories, but we’re looking forward to having a bright, shining school in our new neighborhood.”
Several people even pulled their cars to the side of the road to catch a glimpse of the action.
“Sad seeing all the bricks come down. It’s interesting to see the firehouse going to keep the dust down from the neighborhood.”
Others weren’t ready to let go.
“Probably just write Dr. Howard on it and put it somewhere, I don’t know, for safekeeping.”
Emotions were high watching the building get knocked down. Many are excited about the new addition coming in its place after the rest of the building is taken down.
“We need a better, newer school here. It’s old, kind of like me.”
Construction on the new building starts in 2019 and will take two years to complete.
This year, the school district added a crossing guard to Randolph and Beardsley, next to Columbia Center and Stratton Elementary School. It’s because more kids are in the area since Dr. Howard students are attending Columbia while construction is taking place.