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Decatur’s Dennis Lab students to move to Garfield to avoid structural issues at home school

Dennis Lab School

DECATUR — Kindergarten through 6th graders from Dennis Lab School in Decatur now know where they will attend school in the fall – Garfield Learning Academy.

Decatur Public Schools announced last week that it would close both Dennis buildings for a year after engineers found they were not structurally sound. Students were already on summer vacation.

The Decatur school board voted on Wednesday night to add six mobile classrooms to expand the space at Garfield.

The board is still debating whether to add more for Dennis 7th and 8th graders, or send them to Stephen Decatur Middle School.

According to the Herald and Review, Garfield students will move to a self-contained wing at Stephen Decatur. Garfield is a K-12 alternative school for students who need additional supports for their social, emotional, behavioral or academic needs.

The Dennis Lab buildings are over 100 years old.

Emily Hays is a reporter for Illinois Public Media. Follow her on Twitter @amihatt.

Emily Hays

Emily Hays

Emily Hays started at WILL in October 2021 after three-plus years in local newsrooms in Virginia and Connecticut. She has won state awards for her housing coverage at Charlottesville Tomorrow and her education reporting at the New Haven Independent. Emily graduated from Yale University where she majored in History and South Asian Studies.

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