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Pillar, signs being replaced at Deer Creek school

July 24, 2008

The large cement pillar that greets parents and students as they pull into Deer Creek Intermediate School will soon be gone.

The pillar is inscribed with pictures of Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary, an angel carrying a scroll, and other religious symbols. It served as a base for a statue when St. John’s School for the Deaf, which closed in 1983, occupied the site, and school officials will contact the Archdiocese of Milwaukee to see if it wants the pillar.

Signs being updated

Principal Mary Garcia-Velez said the pillar is outdated, not appropriate for Deer Creek and confuses visitors, as a sign affixed to it reads Deer Creek Elementary School. Deer Creek changed from an elementary to a middle school in 2005.

“We want to change the signage, so its representative of our school,” Garcia-Velez said. “It (pillar and sign) doesn’t go with who we are.

“It has nothing to do with the fact that it has religious significance.”

Other signs also include elementary school in the name and will be changed, too. The name on the school building was changed July 21 to just Deer Creek.

Garcia-Velez said signage is being adjusted “to show who we are now.”

No timetable set

Julie Kelly, St. Francis School District business manager, said the district’s maintenance personnel will take down the pillar. She was unsure how much that would cost, when it would be done or how long it would take.

Jerry Topczewski, a spokesman for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, said no one had contacted archdiocese personnel, as of July 17, about the pillar. He said archdiocese staff try to facilitate the placement of art work elsewhere if possible, depending on whether or not it can easily be maneuvered.

Jim Paszkiewicz, 69, adult education director at Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish in St. Francis, said the pillar has been there as long as he can remember.

“Sometimes religious articles have had their time and they need to be disposed of,” Paszkiewicz said.

Chantel Balzell can be reached at (262) 446-6602.

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