A Macoupin County judge has awarded close to $10-million to the Gillespie School District. The ruling comes from a lawsuit against Union Pacific Railroad concerning an old mine that collapsed and ruined the Benld Elementary School in 2009. The school was built in 2002 and the district was seeking $22 million in the case.
The rail company was the successor to the old Chicago and North Western Railroad that owned the Superior Coal Company, which had mined the coal under the school. Benld School had to be vacated after the floors and walls started to crack and the school was torn down. A new school, Ben-Gil Elementary, was built in 2012 at a price tag of $26-million. The railroad says it plans to appeal the ruling.