Two staunch opponents of the demolition of Coultrap School have turned their attention to ensuring that the old building is remembered.
Colin and Glorianne Campbell of Geneva lobbied the Geneva Community Unit School District 304 board at its most recent meeting to form a committee that would include district staff and representatives from the Geneva History Center and the community. The committee could go through the vacant building and decide what could be saved and used in a permanent memorial, Colin Campbell said.
"The committee could take a thorough tour of the building, listing and photographing items for possible salvage as they go," then develop a plan to preserve them, he told the board.
The cement blocks that read "Coultrap Middle School" above the building's front door could be saved and used as part of a permanent memorial on the site, Campbell said. The memorial could be paid for by selling salvaged bricks, tiles and other mementos.
The school board, which recently voted to raze the building, seemed receptive to the idea. Board President Mark Grosso called the proposals "excellent suggestions" and appointed board Vice President Kelly Novak as liaison to the committee.
Glorianne Campbell, who attended the school when it was the city's high school, suggested that Geneva High School's video department could take footage, along with vignettes by former students, and create a documentary that could be sold to help fund the memorial.
Coultrap was built in 1923 and operated as a school until 2009 but has been vacant since. The district said the work needed to improve the building was too costly and voted to spend about $800,000 to demolish it. The area will be kept as open space in case the adjacent high school needs to expand.