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Little Red School Featured in New York Auction

May 7, 1991

ARMINGTON, Ill. (AP) _ A lifetime of memories for one man will become an investment for someone else next week when a little red schoolhouse in rural central Illinois is auctioned in New York.

″The roof is in good shape. It’s got a new boiler and heating system in it with a thermostat in every room,″ said 88-year-old Pete Atteberry, who was in the second class to attend Armington Elementary School.

He went on to work as a cook and custodian at the school, which opened in 1913, and served on the school board.

The two-story school about 35 miles southeast of Peoria in rural Tazewell County, sits on two acres of land in this town of about 350 people.

The school was forced to close after the consolidation of eight area elementary districts 10 years ago and the town eventually sold the building to New York real estate investor Arthur Shopolosky for $8,500.

Shopolosky is liquidating his holdings and selling the school, said Hal Henenson, executive vice president of Properties at Auction, the real estate company conducting the sale. There is no minimum bid.

″He had some thoughts about using it - it could be a private school, a residence, or put to some institutional use,″ Henenson said. ″Now, he just wants to dispose of it quickly.″

To prospective bidders, Henenson said the school is a development opportunity. For Atteberry, it brings on fond remembrances.

″My parents took me out of a country school in 1914 and put me in the Armington,″ he said.

″The gymnasium is in the neighborhood of 20 years old and the boiler is less than 40 years old,″ Atteberry said. ″It’s been well-maintained. It could be used for just about anything.″

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