It was a mainstay for years in the Park Center vicinity, ten miles west of Elgin. If it could talk, it would share stories of laughter, tears, many successes and perhaps a few failures. There are probably several first loves and broken hearts that began behind its doors.
The Park Center School building officially closed its doors in June of 1990. For eight years it watched as the world went by, unsure of its future. After it was moved into Elgin and remained virtually untouched for an additional fourteen years, the Elgin Historical Society put the building and the lot it stood on up for sale. Now, twenty-two years later, a new era begins for the two-room country school building. Former student, Bruce Clark, and Heather Bruns purchased the building earlier this year with a family business in mind and its been a family affair every since.
June 4, 2012 will be the first day of business for Park Center Daycare, located at 202 Bowen Street, Elgin.
“Our families have really helped get it looking good,” Bruns said. “Bruce’s sister (Brenda) and brother-in-law (Matt) have been here every weekend that they can, helping us. Bruce’s parents (Keith and Laverda) have been a huge help as well.” Bruns and Clark also received helped from her parents, Ron and Josie Paulson.
The family has been busy. The list of work done is exhausting just to read let alone accomplish. They tore down the lath and plaster and replaced it with drywall, framing in bathrooms, a storage room, kitchen and office. Wanescoating that was in the school was sanded down, re-stained, and re-hung on the outside walls. Floors were sanded and re-stained. Bruce Clark, an electrician, rewired the entire building. Matt, a fire inspector, worked on their fire alarms, security system, and helped considerably with the trim woodwork. A furnace and air-conditioning unit were added. On the outside, residents can’t help but notice the new siding, windows and roof on the building. Other work needed for licensing purposes included handicap accessible bathrooms, a wheelchair ramp, their new fire alarm system and exits from both rooms.
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