The Monroe City School Board should reconsider its decision to locate the new Martin Luther King Middle in the Parkview neighborhood next to Wossman High School.
Even though a contract has been approved, it is not too late to stop what will be a disaster for the residents of the surrounding community.
At Tuesday night’s meeting District 6 School Board member Brandon Johnson said he was sure that the decision to locate the school in the Parkview neighborhood would not negatively impact the neighborhood based on reports, but just to be double sure he plans to ask the architects to show him the plans again.
Tuesday night Johnson said:
“ I want to insure you that no decision was made without factoring in many things including flooding in homes and in the area. And as an added measure I plan to personally meet with the architect of this project again to be sure that the actions that we are currently taking which include sub-terrain piping will be most effective in reducing the flood impact of the homes in the area. If there continues to be a need I’m also willing and hoping to have community forums in conjunction with the architect to address the concerns about increased flooding.”
Johnson should be commended for revisiting the location item. Since he was a person who voted in the affirmative for locating the school in the area, he could move to reconsider the action.
When Johnson meets with the architects and engineers he will learn what has already been learned from community meetings and hearings, some of which he did not attend:
–The proposed school will be a state of the art complex designed for over 500 students.
–It will use sub-terrain piping and drainage methods to protect the school from flooding because it will be located in an area that is vulnerable to flooding.
–There is an impact study that suggests that damage to the new school in floods will be minimal.
–The runoff from the school will flow into the city’s drainage infrastructure which will require extensive expansion to prevent neighborhood flooding.
–The mayor has not committed any funds to expand the neighborhood infrastructure to avoid projected flooding.
–There will be sidewalks adjacent to the new school but none beyond the school.
–An alternate plan to build a new MLK on the present site was presented to the school board facilities committee.
–To rebuild on the present MLK site would cost $2 million less and will not contribute to flooding of the school or the surrounding neighborhood.
–Neighbors at the present site welcome the new school, but those at the proposed site oppose it because of flooding.
–The present site has never flooded in the past and is not expected to flood in the future although areas surrounding continue to be subject to flooding.
–Not one single homeowner in the proposed neighborhood site favors the new proposal.
When Mr. Johnson finishes his review, he will better understand the objection that residents have to the location.
No residents are opposed to a new school, they are opposed to its location.
Hopefully, Mr. Johnson will conduct his review and move quickly to bring this matter back before the school board.
The residents have done their homework, went to the meetings, studied the engineers reports and are sure that the proposed MLK location will mean flooding of their homes in the future.
Mr. Johnson and other board members only have one question to ask, “If my home was located in this neighborhood, would I vote for an item that will flood my home and that of my neighbors?”
Mr. Johnson only has a small window of time to reverse this matter. The new school is in his district.
The ball is in his court.. so will be the credit or the blame.