- Associated Press - Monday, May 12, 2014

EDGEWOOD, Ill. (AP) - A small southern Illinois village will be without a school for the first time since 1863 when an elementary school closes this summer.

Edgewood Grade School is closing because of falling enrollment and state aid, according to a report (https://bit.ly/1sDMjEb ) in The Effingham Daily News.

Edgewood, which has 440 residents, is about 15 miles southwest of Effingham. The school has about 69 students in kindergarten through 4th grade, according to the Illinois State Board of Education.

“In a word, this is sad,” said Tina Moore, who has a child who attends the school.

Parents and alumni held a weekend reunion to bring together members of the community to remember the school, which first opened in a previous location in 1863. The current location was built in 1938.

“This is going to hurt the town,” said Greg Ingram, who attended Edgewood in the 1970s, adding that he worried people will move away.

School district officials in Effingham voted to close the school in February.

“I think Edgewood is losing some of its identity,” said Linda Lewis, who taught at the school until she retired in 2005. “The school is the heart of the community.”

Principal Cheri Marten said students are “a little excited and a lot nervous” about attending new schools next year.

Some students will have to spend as much as 90 minutes per day on the bus next year.

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Information from: Effingham Daily News, https://www.effinghamdailynews.com

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