The scene was quite dramatic last week. Staff of Lockport High School’s Central Campus arrived to work the morning of November 1st to find the entire ceiling of one of the classrooms on the third floor had caved in over night.
Classes for students in that school, all freshmen, were cancelled. They started remote learning the next day, but that was only temporary. The big question was what to do with them in the short term while the 114-year-old building is being inspected and repaired.
During a special meeting of the Board of Education, they decided, with cooperation from the Lincoln-Way School District, to use the building that formerly housed Lincoln-Way North High School on Harlem Ave. in Frankfort. The two schools are about 19 miles away and about a 25 minute drive (likely longer with traffic).
The decision was made with in-person learning and keeping the student body together being the priorities, according to a press release from Lockport High School.
Lincoln-Way North shut its doors since 2016. It has been used on and off for various non-education related events over the years, but never as a school. The building has been maintained, and according to Lockport Superintendent Bob McBride during an interview with Scott Slocum of 1340 WJOL, it has everything students and staff need to conduct education. Teachers and students are expected to move in by the middle of next week using around 40 of the buildings classrooms, auditorium, and cafeteria (although hot foods will likely not be offered). The school day is said to be shortened a bit for the freshmen to account for the extra travel and logistics.
But what about Lockport Central campus?! According to McBride, the renovation of central campus could take months because of the level of repairs to be made. That means the freshmen at Lockport High School could possibly be at the LWN building for the rest of the school year.
During the interview with WJOL, McBride expressed his gratitude to the Lincoln-Way School District for the use of their building, saying that Lincoln-Way Superintendent Scott Tingley said, “That’s what neighbors do.”
What a great example of government working together to find the best solution during a hard time.
Listen to the entire interview with Bob McBride here: