Washington Evening Journal
http://washington-ia.villagesoup.com/p/1172145

Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 30, 2014

Biking for bell

Artifact discovered in Lincoln basement
By Xiomara Levsen | Apr 24, 2014
Pictured above is the bell from the original Lincoln School, which sat in the basement of Lincoln Elementary School for years gathering dust. Members of the staff, elementary support organization, parents, and students have come up with the idea to incorporate the bell with their new electronic sign in front of the school.

In the basement at Lincoln Elementary School sat an artifact from the former school building, for years.
One day, custodians were down in the part of the basement where the floor is dirt.
“The bell has actually been in the basement of this school forever,” said Principal Dave Hoffman. “I’ve been here for 16 years and the bell has been in the basement the whole time.”
He believes the bell was put in the basement because no one knew what to do with it.
“We knew we didn’t want to get rid of it; we just wanted to come up with a plan for it,” Hoffman said.
After some discussion with teachers, the elementary support organization, and parents, the idea of incorporating the bell with the new electronic sign came up.
“We’ve known for quite a while that we’ve wanted an electronic sign and we’ve kind of been putting money away for that,” Hoffman said. “The plan just kind of came together.”
The new sign will be made from brick, with an area for the electronic LED display. The bell will be placed to the right of the display.
“We just decided we might as well put it to use,” Hoffman said, “so that’s why we want to incorporate it back into the school.”
The cost of the total project is estimated to be $25,000, Hoffman said. A bike-a-thon fundraiser is going on right now to help with the cost for the new electronic sign and the bell restoration, Hoffman said. Students at the school are seeking donations for their bike-a-thon on Saturday, May 3, at Sunset Park from 9 to 11 a.m. The money students raise will go toward the electronic sign and bell restoration project at the school.
“We have some money raised for the project, but then this opportunity came up,” Hoffman said.
Depending on the amount of money raised, the project could begin this summer. Hoffman said this will also tie in well with Washington celebrating its 175th anniversary.
“It’s kind of coming together at the right time,” Hoffman said.
There is some restoration the bell will need before it can ring again, but the students and staff are all excited about it.
“We aren’t quite sure when we’ll be using it,” Hoffman said. “Probably not every day but maybe on the first day of school and the last day of school. We’ll have to come up with some tradition.”

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