The clock is ticking for a 102-year old local school. According to school officials, they’re trying to raise close to three hundred thousand dollars by the end of June, or they will have to shut their doors.
Panola, Okla. is a small town in Latimer county.
There’s no street lights or shopping malls, but there is the school many call the heartbeat of the town, Panola Public Schools.
“We are looking at 200 to 250 thousand dollars is what we are trying to push for in the next what there weeks,” said Panola superintendent Brad Corcoran.
Corcoran said the push comes from a drop in enrollment and funding.
“We are finding ourselves scrambling trying to find more money,” Corcoran said.
The schools said they’re in debt.
“Various vendors that we do business with and the teachers and support staff,” Corcoran said.
From the oldest yearbook, to a 1920’s girls basketball team photo, and a letter-man sweater from the 1930’s many said the school is a piece of history.
The schools made cuts to positions. One was lasts years’ teacher of the year.
“It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do,” Corcoran said.
If the school isn’t able to raise the funding by the end of the month the question of where the kids will go to school remains a concern.
“That’s a good question,” Corcoran said. “There’s a few school districts around the area.
From bake sales, to a make shift thrift store, the community is pulling as one.
“I’ve cried, I have no more tears to cry,” said Panola alumni Shannon Ferguson.
This 1998 graduates fears her children and community won’t experience what she did
“I’ll be scared to go to a school where most people I don’t know,” said Panola student Hayleigh Drake.
As the clock ticks to raise the money, Panola hopes to have the hallways filled with students soon.
School officials said they have until (June 30) to raise the funds.