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Capital Improvement Project - Video Series - Monticello High School: Then and Now

One vision one goal one monticello

Narrator: Superintendent of Schools Tammy Mangus

"If you’ve graduated from Monticello High School within the last 50 years, we can essentially guarantee that if you come back for a tour, you’ll immediately be brought right back to your high school days. Literally. Take a look around – so much in our world has changed in the past five decades since the 1968 when the first class graduated from the “new” high school, but in terms of our buildings, facilities and infrastructure too much has stayed the same.

Monticello High School hasn’t had any significant renovations to its building since it was built. We are using the exact same structures, and in some cases, even equipment that used in 1968. Think about the differences in education that we have made. Please know that It’s ineffective and in some cases problematic to educate under these old systems. Take our wood shop for example, which is located through a plywood door next to a computer lab and our 3D printing station – what happens when all that saw dust flies around? It settles right on to our equipment.

But please know, it’s not a matter of simply moving things around – we have done our best to place equipment and computers in areas that can accept electrical loads as well as wiring for cabling and Internet – necessary power sources to inspire and innovate for today’s world. Please know that this hasn’t been easy. We are limited because our high school essentially sits at the bottom of a bowl. Any time it rains, the water runs down the hill and stagnates at the bottom. We have flood damage throughout the building to the point that we have had to take entire instructional and administrative areas out of use.

It is also important to know that some of our electrical, heating and cooling systems are directly within this floodplain. In many cases, they are so obsolete it’s difficult to even find the parts to repair them when they need it. We’re at the point where we’re unable to adjust or control systems and sometimes have to leave them running well beyond when we would be able to shut off an effective system. This wastes a tremendous amount of energy.
For the past 20 years, we have been putting band aid fixes on our structural issues to meet safety requirements with an intent to keep costs low – but we can no longer do that. Our buildings are in serious need of upgrades.

Our board of education and facilities committee have been hard at work over the past 18 months identifying all of these issues in collaboration with the district’s architectural firm. After realizing that the cost of just repairing these issues would be roughly in the same neighborhood as the cost of a complete renovation designed to bring all of our buildings into the 21st century, they formed a vision and build committee and held community forums to learn how our stakeholders envision the future of our district. They have worked diligently to create a list of crucial repairs, needed updates and big dreams.

Clark Patterson Lee, our architectural firm, is taking all of this feedback and will create a plan for a proposed capital improvement vote to be brought forward to the voters on Dec. 19. In the upcoming weeks, we will continue to release information as it becomes available on this project. We encourage you all to join in this process and be a part of creating a vision for the future of our community.

Please attend our board meetings and any community meetings as advised on our website.

Take care, and be well. "