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One-Room School To Open in Calif.

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At a time when the one-room schoolhouse has almost become extinct, the Long Beach Board of Education has given the go-ahead to a rural community on California's Santa Catalina Island to open one next fall to save several young pupils a two-hour daily commute to another school.

Fourteen children in grades K-4 now travel about one hour each way from their home in Two Harbors, Calif., to a school in Avalon, at the opposite end of Santa Catalina Island.

The trip is taxing on the children, especially in inclement weather, officials said.

Although a lack of funds had precluded building a school at Two Harbors, a local businessman has donated a "relocatable,'' or modular, building that will become the schoolhouse.

The school, which will be "a 1987 version of a little schoolhouse,'' will be painted red and will have a bell, said Dick Van Der Laan, a public-information officer for the Long Beach Unified School District, which includes the island. The estimated cost of erecting the building and supplying it with school equipment is $100,000. Parents and community members have raised and donated money to offset the costs, he said.--A.P.

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