By Madelynn Coldiron
When the school year ended, the Wayne County school district swung into action to accomplish the physical changes that were required with the merger with Monticello Independent.
“Mayflower and Allied Van Lines have nothing on us,” district public information officer Linda Jones quipped.
PHOTO: Wayne County High School students, from left to right, Josh Dishman, Josh Alley, Brandon Southwood and Cheyenne Rose packed books in the former Walker Elementary library for the move to Bell Elementary. Photo by Linda Jones/Wayne County Schools
Because grade centers shifted (see chart opposite page) with the absorption of the Monticello building, age-appropriate classroom furniture had to be moved among schools, along with library materials. The maintenance staff’s numbers were expanded by ROTC student volunteers and students who were basically given summer jobs by the district to help with the move. Teachers from both districts also pitched in, Wayne County school board Chairwoman Patty Roberts said.
“They have worked together as a unit, which is just awesome,” she said.
Extra space was created at the middle and high schools, each of which is taking on an additional 200 or so Monticello students, by erecting walls to divide some of the larger rooms into two classrooms.
Technology was the other big share of the summer work as staff raced to ensure that the Monticello school building had the same equipment as the Wayne County district’s schools. That required extensive rewiring and installation of additional electronic whiteboards and classroom computers, as well as the scrubbing of the independent district’s computers. Phone lines also had to be rewired.
The transportation department, meanwhile, worked to add Monticello bus routes.
Superintendent John Dalton said the district paid for the additional work and equipment by cobbling together general fund money, some state technology funds and some leveraged federal money. He estimated the physical work involved cost at least $10,000, while at least $100,000 was plowed into technology.
“We received zero money to do this,” he said.