- Associated Press - Saturday, April 19, 2014

CHESTER, Ill. (AP) - A southwestern Illinois school district has begun work to replace an elementary school’s gymnasium and two classrooms rendered unusable because of structural issues.

Construction began this week southeast of St. Louis in Chester, where the elementary school gym and its connecting classrooms were condemned in mid-2012 because shifting ground made them unstable.

The condemnation resulted in more than 600 students from pre-kindergarten through eighth grade having no facility for physical education classes during inclement weather.

The project is being paid for by nearly $4.4 million from Illinois taxpayers and $1.5 million from the Chester school district.

The new buildings will be erected on more stable ground near the school.

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