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      Exclusive look into new Hull community center

      Updated: Tuesday, June 21, 3:43PM

      The former Hull Elementary School may still be in the renovation phase, but the community is already getting plenty of use out of it.

      You'll remember back in January the vacant school got a new owner, Lisa Smith.

      She plans to turn it into a daycare and a community center.

      There is still a good amount of work to be done to complete the daycare portion, but the rest of the building is in use.

      Cheerleading and karate practices are being held in the facility.

      There are also other events planned.

      "We've got a benefit, softball tournament benefit, coming up for Laney Wright. He's a 19 year old with a brain tumor. And then also in October during the color drive, which is also during our flea market, we'll have the Illinois Fallen Heroes Memorial Traveling Wall," said Smith.

      People have also rented out space for birthday parties, family reunions and even a Christmas dinner.


      Last month, the old Hull Elementary School building was bought by Lisa Smith.

      She owns Mama Duck's Day Care, but has bigger plans than that for the building.

      It will be the only day care center in Pike County.

      The first room we walked into was the cafeteria. The next few rooms, which were old classrooms, will be the rooms for Mama Duck's Daycare.

      As we walked down the hall, she told me why she wanted to buy the building. She's had a special connection to the old school for 38 years. Her father used to be a janitor for the Elementary School.

      A few classrooms later, and we're at the end of the Day Care, but it's not the end of her plans. In the back of the building is a gymnasium with three other rooms... For the community.

      "We're looking at like a coffee shop area, an exercise room, and the other room as a game room for the kids and the community to use," said Lisa Smith.

      The playground will stay where it is, for the community as well.

      Smith also says it's going to be a big project, but the community is ready to help.