Much more than simply a face lift
January 31, 2008
By Alison Herget • COASTAL MONMOUTH BUREAU
Eatontown schools improve learning environment
EATONTOWN — Memorial School Principal Ronald Danielson will tell you that the recent renovations to the seventh- and eighth-grade facility have done much more than make the building aesthetically pleasing.
"It's a much-improved learning environment for the students," Danielson said. "It's wonderful."
The construction and upgrades to Memorial School and the three elementary schools — Woodmere, Meadowbrook and Vetter — follow a $30 million proposal approved by voters in a March 2006 referendum. "We're thrilled," said Barbara Struble, superintendent of schools. "We're just amazed that this was able to get done ahead of schedule."
renovations finished early
Memorial School, built in 1955, saw the most extensive face lift out of all the schools, with the addition of a new media center, replacement of the gymnasium floor and installation of full-length lockers. The science labs at Memorial School were "gutted and completely redone," Struble said, and renovated with new tables, cabinetry and electrical wiring.
The school's media center opened last month. It has more shelving, furniture and instruction space than its older counterpart, which was just down the hall. The old library was renovated so it could be used as two group-instruction rooms, Struble said.
"We now have new desks and a seating area that's more casual," Struble said of the new media center. Parent Ken Walsh, who has two daughters at Meadowbrook elementary school, said the schools underwent some much-needed improvements.
"The lighting is a lot better," he said. "I'm very impressed with what I see. I feel like I'm getting my tax-dollars' worth." Mark Van Wagner, Board of Education president, said he couldn't have been happier with the way the project turned out.
"The best news
was that there was no news, in that it really didn't garnish any headlines,"
he said. "The reason for that is that we were ahead of schedule
and under budget. And, in construction, those are the two best things
you can have."