Monday, October 25, 2010

Mattoon School Building

The Mattoon School building, located about 6 miles north of Marion on Hwy. 60, has set mostly empty since 1981, when it was closed permanently and the students were bused to the new Crittenden County Elementary School at Marion.  Since the building was only 29 years old when the school was closed, it was hoped that the building would be used for something beneficial and useful to the community.  For a short time it was used as an entertainment center and after that a horse sales business, neither lasted very long, so the building just deteriorated by setting empty.

In 1953, the old frame building that was there, and  the block building that housed the cafeteria burned.  A new brick building was completed by the fall.  The picture at the right was the new brick building.  Everyone was so proud of it when it was built.  This new building had a large cafeteria, kitchen, six classrooms, an office, storage room, large restrooms, furnace room and later a multi-purpose room.  In 1953-54 enrollment was approximately 200, with 54 students in the seventh and eighth grades.  The school was thriving and the future looked promising for the school and community.

Things change and the student enrollment by 1981 had fallen so low that it was decided by the Board of Education that the school needed to be closed and the students that was there would attend the new Elementary School that had just been built at Marion.  It was hard on the community, parents and students to lose their home-based school.  It's always devastating to a community when it loses it's school.
A Mattoon based family that owned the school building and property had part of the school torn down on Sept. 13, 2010.   By now windows were broken, the roof was in a state of disrepair and it was beyond repair.  Another chapter of the old school  building was closed as it was torn down.

Picture made Sept 13, 2010.

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