The Monett community is invited to a ribbon cutting at the new Monett Elementary School this Saturday at 2 p.m. The public event marks the completion of a project that began when Monett R-1 patrons overwhelmingly approved a $4.5 million bond issue project back in April of 2010.
Ground was broken on the $7 million expansion and campus consolidation project in June 2010 and students began using the facility this fall. The second phase of the project was completed this past month when second graders were moved into their new rooms on the campus, located on Learning Lane.
"Personally, I couldn't be happier with the product," said Superintendent Dr. John Jungmann. "We hit the vision the board had of taking as many of the existing facilities and tying them together. It all produced a great learning environment and addressed security."
The project, which was constructed by R.E. Smith Construction, consolidated the 1960s-era buildings on the campus into a central building arrangement with a main, secure entrance and central office. A classroom wing was added with a new gym that also serves as a FEMA-approved storm shelter. The completed campus is highlighted by large, colorful classrooms and plenty of space for students and teachers to move about the facility more easily in a secure environment.
"The kids and parents have provided tremendous feedback to the teachers," Jungmann said. "We've had nothing but positive comments on the colors [added to the walls and floors], on how warm and welcoming it is for elementary kids, an exciting place for them to enter, not just white walls and gray tile, but vibrant, the same kind of energy we see in those kids every day."
The open house and ribbon cutting will be followed by a Family Fun Fest from 4 to 7 p.m., which is sponsored by the MES Parent Teacher Organization and is open to the community.
The special event, which will serve as the PTO's major fundraiser for the year, will feature a chili and hot dog supper, games, inflatables and entertainment for the whole family presented in a carnival theme.
The chili dinner will include chili, cornbread, crackers, brownies and a drink for $5. For those who would prefer something besides chili, there will be a hot dog dinner offered, which includes a hot dog, chips, brownie and a drink, also for $5.
Various activities are planned during the Fun Fest, including: inflatables from the YMCA; carnival-style games with a ticket booth and prizes; face painting; a pie auction; a duck pond; a cake walk; performances by the MES Cub Choir; a magic show by Greg Mercer; and science experiments by Heno Head.
The event will be held rain or shine. The carnival and games will take place in the new gym, and the concessions will be served in the new commons area.
"I hope everyone can attend," Jungmann said. "It should be an exciting day for the community and all the kids."