Western Elementary in Hull to close

Photo Credit: File photo

Pike County, Ill -

The Western School Board voted five to two Wednesday night to close Western Elementary School in Hull.

The school will not close at the end of this school year though.

It'll stay open for the next school year while the district works out the logistics of where the students will go.

Cries and a collective sigh could be heard after the last two board members voted to close the school.

This decision was made after nearly two hours of discussion and concern from area residents and parents.

Before the final vote, members of the Hull, Kinderhook, and Barry communities voiced their concerns that this closure would be bad for the community and school district in the end.

Many thought the closure was being rushed through.

A lot of residents hadn't even heard of the possible closure until a couple of weeks ago.

Many concerned parents said there wouldn't be enough room for students in both Barry and Kinderhook.

Others reminded the board of a promise the committee of ten made a couple of years ago while looking into consolidation.

They claim the committee made a promise the school in Hull would stay open.

Most board members say the closure is needed to save more than 150 thousand dollars every year and to keep the district solid in tough times.

Residents countered that argument with concerns that this decision was made too hastily since county assessments went up for the first time in 20 years.

Board president Kris Koeller did not vote to close the school, but says the district has to come together.

We also spoke to several parents who say this is the wrong move for the school district.