Old School Closes This Week

Madison and Grant Eicher may not know it but they are a part of Council Bluffs history...the final group of students at Gunn Elementary.

"It's pretty sad because my grandpa went here," Madison said.

Their dad Troy also once walked these halls.

For generations, neighborhood families attended Gunn but that will soon be a thing of the past.

The school is outdated. The heating and cooling systems consist of ceiling fans, window air conditioners and radiators hidden as furniture.

Every inch of space is used.

Still, families became attached to the school.

"Probably the location," Troy Eicher said. "You stick to where you grew up. I don't know even if I had moved from this part of town, I probably would have brought my children here."

This is third grader Josh Zarkustie's first and last year at Gunn.

He's looking forward to the prospects of going to a brand new school next year.

His mom already spends a lot of time there.

"She's the construction manager," Josh said.

Staci Pettit says the amenities of College View Elementary can replace the nostalgia over losing Gunn and its tight hallways and cramped classrooms.

"It's very open, exciting, lots of colors, more durable materials," she said.

This state of the art facility has plenty of room...spacious hallways and classrooms.

The geothermal heating and cooling system is more efficient and discreet and the school is completely wireless.

"So they can pull up a lap top computer anywhere through out the facility," she said.

Staci said the work here has so far met her son's seal of approval.

"Here they'll be able to spread out, they're going to have new technology," she said. "It's just going to be fabulous site for them it's going to be a world of difference."

She also hopes the new school will carry on one successful aspect of Gunn by educating students for generations to come.

The nearly $10 million price tag is being paid out of a sales tax issue passed by voters recently.

No word yet on what will go on the old school site.

Hoover Elementary is a few blocks away from Gunn and it's getting a major overhaul.

A school with the same design as College View is going up in Carter Lake.

That old school will also be knocked down.

All of the schools are targeted to be ready for the 2011-2012 school year.

Council Bluffs has not built a new elementary school in more than 30 years.


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