- Associated Press - Thursday, May 28, 2015

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) - A beloved 41-year-old reading room designed to look like a red caboose will survive a significant building remodel at a Norman elementary school.

Mendi Brandon launched a petition drive to save the wooden caboose inside the library of Eisenhower Elementary School, The Oklahoman (https://bit.ly/1AAc7cA ) reported. More than 700 people signed the petition in the first few days of the drive earlier this month.

“The walls of the caboose hold memories and stories and secrets,” she said. “You can’t tear that down. It’s something that needs to remain in the school forever.”

Brandon asked district and school officials to keep the caboose on campus until she could find a place to move it or store it. Her perseverance paid off on Tuesday when a district official called her to let her know the caboose would live on at Eisenhower.

The structure will be moved to a gymnasium, where it’ll continue to be made available for readers and photo opportunities, said Superintendent Joe Siano.

“In the end it appeared that a number of people in the community wanted it to be somewhere on the site,” Siano said. “I think this is a good resolution.”

Construction is set to start this summer at Eisenhower and several other elementary schools. The projects were bid as a group and will cost approximately $6.7 million to complete, Siano said.

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Information from: The Oklahoman, https://www.newsok.com


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