Demolition begins for beloved former Nativity School in Dubuque - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Demolition begins for beloved former Nativity School in Dubuque

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -

Former students, parents and staff watched as their beloved former Church of Nativity School was demolished.

The place they knew is no more. "When I was standing here today, I could just see her here when she was just so tiny, coming out and so glad to see me and so, this has just been a very emotional time really for all of us," said Sarah Greer Bush, reflecting about the time her daughter attended school there.

The Catholic school was part of Dubuque for nearly 100 years, but it closed about 10 years ago. For many, it's a sacred, holy place. 

However, the building started to fall apart with bricks collapsing, forcing parish leaders to make this tough decision. "I searched for different ways that maybe we could save it, but the cost was too much. We don't have that kind of income at the parish, to spend that kind of money," said Father Jim Miller.

For now, the newer section of the school built in 1956 is not planned to be torn down. Parish leaders say it is a possibility in the future.

Parents of former students say they are sad to see the building knocked down, but the school has served its purpose. "It was a necessary thing, and so, some mixed feelings, sadness and yet, the joy of what it's gonna be coming forward," said Mary Hoelscher.

Parish leaders are discussing options about what to do with the space. Possibilities are a new parking lot, green-space, or another building. 

The demolition is not complete. It should be done by the end of the week. 

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