Photos by David Colburn
Protesters Linda Knogl, Lori Andrews and Megan Stover (from left) gather outside the Early Childhood Center at 3201 E. 23rd St. for the first of two rounds of protests beginning at 9 a.m. Dec. 22 with the intent of reaching parents and residents in Granite City on the final day of class before winter break.
Linda Knogl led protests at 9 a.m. and noon Dec. 22 outside the Early Childhood Center, 3201 E. 23rd St.
“Today is the last day of school before winter break, and there aren’t any more board meetings before the vote,” Knogl said. “This is the last chance to make an impact on parents and the community at large.”
The center has been a controversial topic since November, when rumors that classrooms would be relocated first surfaced. In her initial public comment at the Nov. 17 school board meeting, Knogl addressed the root of the conflict.
“I have heard that the district is in discussion to relocate classrooms at the Early Childhood Center in order to move offices there,” she said. “This beautifully remodeled, state-of-the-art building, now in its eighth year, was designed and intended to serve 3-, 4-, and 5-year-olds at risk and special education students. It is funded through a grant that may be jeopardized if these classrooms are dispatched to the district’s elementary buildings. This is grant money our district cannot afford to lose.
“We did meet with Board President Bev Scroggins at the board office on Dec. 17,” Knogl said. “All of our requests for information were refused at the time; questions such as cost and what other options may be considered. We’ve started to hear rumors that the board plans to tell the community about their plans, but the committee has not been contacted.”
Since the December school board meeting, public interest in the issue has increased.
A larger turnout than usual is anticipated for the 5 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 12, school board meeting at the Granite City High School Performing Arts Auditorium, 3101 Madison Ave.
“We’ve been informed that presentations will be given at the next meeting and that the Early Childhood Center may become a table item, meaning that a decision might not be made until the following meeting,” Knogl said.