By Talia Kaplan
ALORTON, Ill. (KSDK) - The East St. Louis School Board is considering selling an old school to a salvage yard, but some are calling for the building to stay a part of the community.
"We already have a salvage yard for one," Alorton Mayor JoAnn Reed said. "Two, there is nothing left in Alorton. There is nothing left for our children to do. We need a safe haven."
A crowd of students, parents and grandparents gathered at the East St. Louis School District 189 Administration Office Monday morning, trying to get officials to hear that very plea.
Reed spearheaded the effort, which protested the school board's decision to accept a $104,000 offer to turn the vacant Curtis Miller Alternative High School building into a salvage yard. Reed is asking for ownership of the school building so the city can turn it into a community recreation center for students.
"We want to be able to provide midnight basketball, after school tutorial programs, prayer rooms and social recreation," she said.
The school board's Financial Oversight Panel took no action on the sale of the Curtis Miller Monday, something that Reed interpreted as a good sign.
Nevertheless, she said the group will continue to protest and will also contact state and county representatives for help if the sale goes through.
The school board will reconsider their decision to sell during their Sept. 17 meeting. The Financial Oversight Committee will approve or disapprove their decision on Sept. 23.