Tuesday, May 01, 2001

Plans for new school face review

Montgomery forum set

By Sue Kiesewetter
Enquirer Contributor

        MONTGOMERY — A proposal to build a 79,000-square-foot school to replace Montgomery Elementary will be presented during two public meetings this week before the Sycamore Board of Education decides whether to move forward.

        The plans will be explained during meetings scheduled 7-9 p.m. today and 9:30-11:30 a.m. Thursday at the school, 9609 Montgomery Road.

        A question-and-answer session will follow the brief presentation.

        “The proposal right now is to build a new school on the same site,” said Krista Ramsey, spokeswoman for the Sycamore Schools. “The current building has very little storage, lacks parking and is not wired for today's technology.”

        Plans prepared by Cole & Russell Architects Inc. call for a three-story core classroom section. The first level would contain specialized rooms for art and music classes along with a gymnasium and cafetorium. The building's media center and computer lab would join classrooms on the second floor. Parking would be expanded from 88 to 150 spaces.

        The building was designed to incorporate architectural features of past schools built on the 5.5-acre site while blending with neighboring structures, said Principal Michael Pastura.

        “There's a half-moon-shaped stone plaque that was on the main entrance of the 1899 school that we'll put on a wall,” Mr. Pastura said. “The historic bell in the school will be used in the new school. We wanted to capture the historic past and architectural aspects of other schools and incorporate them with the new.”

        The building would replace the 60,000-square-foot elementary school, built in 1952 and expanded twice in the 1960s and once in the mid-1980s.

        Money for the school, estimated to cost $11 million, would come from the 1998 bond issue and is the last in a series of improvement projects, said Jean Staubach, president of the Sycamore Board of Education.


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