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Article updated: 6/11/2013 5:08 PM

Geneva school items put to good use in Aurora, Elgin

Work was well under way Tuesday in the demolition of Coultrap School in Geneva. Desks and other items were donated to schools in Aurora and Elgin.

Work was well under way Tuesday in the demolition of Coultrap School in Geneva. Desks and other items were donated to schools in Aurora and Elgin.


Susan Sarkauskas | Staff Photographer

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It's not every day that schoolchildren say a prayer of thanksgiving for receiving used desks.

But students at St. Laurence Catholic School in Elgin did so in April, as they received desks from Coultrap School in Geneva.


"Please know that our students have said a prayer in appreciation of your kindness," wrote St. Laurence principal Tracy Wahl, in a thank-you letter to the Geneva school district.

St. Laurence was one of three that took unwanted items from Coultrap, which is being demolished.

Items were first offered up in auctions on two weekends in April. Sales of the school's glass doors from its oldest part -- plus desks, chairs, coat racks, tables and other items, as well as scrap metal, netted the district $12,830. The money will help pay for demolition.

What wasn't sold at the auctions was offered to local schools.

Besides St. Laurence, Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic School in Aurora took advantage of the offer, to get desks, chairs, tables and other items.

West Aurora public schools benefitted, too. "Thank you for thinking of District 129," wrote Jeff Schiller, the district's operations director, for the donation of desks to Hill Elementary School in Aurora to replace "some very worn-out ones," and bulletin boards to West Aurora High School.

Demolition of Coultrap began last week on the inside of the building.

The oldest portion of the building opened in 1923 as Geneva High School.

It was last used as a school in 2009, when Harrison Street Elementary took up temporary residence in it while Harrison was being renovated. Coultrap Elementary students had moved to the new Williamsburg Elementary School.

The district cited the cost of repairs, and the possibility of expanding adjacent Geneva High School on to the site, as reasons to demolish the building.

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