The Montrose School will reopen in 2013 as a school for special education students. South Orange - Maplewood Board of Education President Beth Daugherty annouced on Monday night that the school, closed this year, would be renovated and then reopen. Part of that work will include a new parking lot.
"Whether we lease it or do it [special education programming] in-district is a decision we still need to make," said Daugherty.
She spoke in response to Jennifer Cicenia's questions about why the school is going ahead with construction of a new parking lot -- scheduled to begin in October -- when there has been no announced purpose for the building.
Cicenia noted that neighbors of the school, such as herself, had "almost no notice" of the proposed parking lot before the South Orange Planning Board meeting where it was discussed. The parking lot plans call for the removal of three trees. The lot will be on the right side of the building.
"What is the point of doing work," asked Cicenia, "when there has been no purpose for the school, at least nothing we've been told."
The Montrose Alternative Program moved out of the building in June.
Cicenia worried that the school won't be well cared for. "It's very messy back there," she said, referring to the abandoned community garden.
Daugherty said the district will continue to maintain the building and grounds while work is done this year.