UPDATE: Whittier Elementary closure delayed - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Whittier Elementary closure delayed

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SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV) -

Sioux City's Whittier Elementary School will close, but it may not happen for at least another 17 years. That's the compromise, considering the board was set to vote on whether to close the century old school in 2014. Now, Whittier hinges on Washington Elementary.

Kristi Nathaniel was crying tears of joy Monday night when she found out Whittier Elementary school wouldn't close in two years.

"I am speechless. I am really relieved. it's good to know that Whittier will be around for a little while," said Nathaniel, a mother of students at Whittier.

Teachers, other parents, even kids joined her in celebration.

"It's my favorite school and I don't want it to close," said 10 year old Whittier Student Hunter Vedral.

In a 4 to 3 decision, the school board voted to put off closure until Washington Elementary is renovated or rebuilt. A rough outline of the district's Future Facility Planning shows that to be somewhere between 2023 and 2029.

"All of your children, even those yet to be born will be out of Whittier School before it closes," said School Board President Doug Batcheller.

The board went this route because, Washington, is one of the five schools students, staff and teachers will be merged with after Whittier closes. Spalding, Nodland, Sunnyside and Unity are the other locations.

Spalding is set to open soon, and once Washington is done, folks will have one more new building to absorb them.

"We'll have two new schools. And Sunnyside and Nodland, Nodland is '69 and Sunnyside is late '50's. So, those are relatively new," said the district's Director of Communications Alison Benson.

It's a decision Whittier Wildcats like Nathaniel fought hard for.

"We couldn't be more happy. We knew there were better options out there and we found it," said Nathaniel.

The School Board will meet this Thursday to discuss the time table for all of their future facilities projects, including Washington's rebuild or renovation. That may happen more than a decade from now, but officials also say it could be bumped up to as early as 2016.

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