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Thomas Jefferson Elementary Will Close

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After one more year, an elementary school in Bettendorf will close. The school board voted Monday to close Thomas Jefferson, and send its students to Mark Twain Elementary School next year.

Superintendent Mike Raso says Jefferson is 70 years old, and small: it has just one classroom, or section, for each grade.

"We're coming to a point at Jefferson where we need to put over one million dollars in that building just to fix it up. And it's a one section building so this was the time to look at consolidating buildings and trying to save some of those facility dollars."

Raso also estimates closing Jefferson will save about $400,000 a year in personnel costs

Mark Twain has two sections for each grade now, but construction will begin soon on a new school that will have three for each grade. And the new Mark Twain should open one year from now.

Raso says the board of education also gave him permission to start the process of selling Jefferson. 

A native of Detroit, Herb Trix began his radio career as a country-western disc jockey in Roswell, New Mexico (“KRSY, your superkicker in the Pecos Valley”), in 1978. After a stint at an oldies station in Topeka, Kansas (imagine getting paid to play “Louie Louie” and “Great Balls of Fire”), he wormed his way into news, first in Topeka, and then in Freeport Illinois.