Sunday, September 09, 2001

Monroe: big plans for campus

Building offers advantages for pupils, parents

By David Eck
Enquirer Contributor

        MONROE — A plan to consolidate all grades of the Monroe Local School District onto one campus emerged as a favorite of residents at Monroe's annual City Fest on Saturday.

        The $29.8 million campus would feature separate wings for elementary and high school students, who would only share a library. The elementary portion would have its own gymnasium and cafeteria.

[photo] Suzi Rubin (right), a member of the Monroe school board, explains plans for the proposed new school campus to Larry and Judy Crump of Monroe.
(Mike Simons photo)
| ZOOM |
        The building would be built on 186 acres at Main Street and Yankee Road, officials said. The district has a $29.9 million bond issue on the November ballot to pay for new facilities.

        Several other plans are being considered, but the district campus is the only one that fulfills most of what the community has said it wants in new buildings.

        “The others don't even come close,” said Tom Birdwell, Monroe Board of Education member.

        The district campus, which canexpand to accommodate growth, is more efficient than separate buildings, board members said.

        The concept also proved popular with some residents who saw it for the first time. “They actually are separate if you look at the big picture of it,” said Tracy Fath, who has four children in the Monroe system. “It's a four-year time frame and so all of my kids will still be in school.”

        Having all the students in one building wasn't lost on the parents, some whom now juggle different kids at different school buildings.

        “I think it should work out well,” said Dona Talbot, who also has four children in the district. “They're all in their own separate entity, plus it's centrally located for all of them to be there.”

        For teachers, new facilities can't come soon enough. Some buildings are overcapacity and outdated.

        “It would be safer, plus, I like the flow of (student) traffic,” said Darlene Richey, a sixth-grade teacher. “It's going to be beautiful.”

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