Surprising Support for Students - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Surprising Support for Students

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GILBERTVILLE (KWWL) -- Most educators in our area are working to cut their district's budget in any way possible.  But thanks to generous help from the community, one local school is ready to begin a much needed improvement project.  And it's expected to cost more than three million dollars.

Don Bosco Catholic Schools are ready to replace the century-old building housing their lunchroom and gymnasium.  Students say dining in this building can make even the greatest meals... Dreadful.

Senior Kyle Scobee noted, "when you have kids trying to talk down here, and play upstairs, you almost don't feel safe sometimes."

There's no question the building has served its purpose.  Of course, a new one costs money.  And since this is a private school, the money has to come from donations.

"Now you want to raise money to build a new building. That could be very tough," said High School Principal Eric Eckerman.

You're probably thinking, why in the world would this school start a multi-million dollar fundraising campaign in the middle of a recession?  Their answer, is why not.

K-8 Principal Julie Niemeyer pointed out, "if you say we're going to wait until the perfect time, it might not ever happen."

Here's what's astonishing.  They set a goal to get this done - during a recession - within a few months.  And thanks to supportive alumni, they met it.

Senior Shanel Wermerskirchen commented, "I knew it was possible, but I didn't think it would happen this fast."

The thing is, no one seemed to doubt their chances of raising the money.  They say, they expected nothing less from the Don Bosco community.

Eckerman added, "it goes to show what kind of great people are here."

School leaders are planning to break ground next summer.  They're hoping to have kids eating and playing in their new space by 2011.  Don Bosco Schools are actually going above and beyond their initial goal.  Niemeyer says with a few more donations, they'll have enough money to update the high school as well.

Online Reporter: Colleen O'Shaughnessy

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