Concrete gorilla statue to be auctioned Sunday at Picher school

From Staff Reports Modified: June 9, 2009 at 12:00 pm •  Published: June 9, 2009
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PICHER -- A concrete statue of the school mascot is among the thousands of items from the Picher-Cardin School District that will be auctioned on Sunday. The 90-year-old school district graduated its final class of seniors last month and will be absorbed by the Commerce and Quapaw districts.

Trophies, lockers, band uniforms and sports equipment are among the items to be auctioned at 11 a.m. Sunday at the school, which will also be the site on Saturday of the annual reunion of former students.

The school district is within the Tar Creek Superfund site, a 40-square-mile area polluted by decades of lead and zinc mining. Picher was placed on the Environmental Protection Agency's Superfund Site list in 1983. The population dwindled as families began accepting buyouts, and a tornado a year ago that killed six people and destroyed dozens of homes hastened the emptying of the town.

The annex agreement divided school furnishings and equipment between Commerce and Quapaw schools, but surplus property will go to the highest bidder on Sunday. A lot of interest has been expressed in the gorilla mascot statue near the school's entrance.