by Henry Daschle
Murch Blue and Gold student reporter
If you think that Murch is old, tired and badly in need of a makeover, you’re not alone. Lots of the school’s kids and adults think so, too.
But in 2015, you should see the beginning of a huge renovation that will change the school for everyone. Construction was pushed back two years, but the amount of money for the project doubled to $32 million.
Mary Cheh, our area’s representative on the City Council, gave two reasons for the delay of the Murch renovation.
First, she said, the recent modernization of Janney Elementary did not provide enough classroom space for all of its kids. Second, the $16 million already set aside for Murch wasn’t enough money for everything Murch needs.
Who decided which schools get facelifts first?
“The executive branch, basically,” Cheh replied. She meant the office of Mayor Vincent Gray, not the City Council.
In a message to residents of the area, she said she was most proud of getting money for “the long overdue modernization of the city’s two most overcrowded elementary schools, Phoebe Hearst and Horace Mann.”
Murch is further down on the area’s waiting list. The student population is 580 now and is expected to increase only slightly next year to a bit over 600.
What changes will the Murch facelift bring?
Not much is known yet, said Principal Chris Cebrzynski. But his personal wish list includes a larger gym, a separate auditorium, a cafeteria, more classrooms and an atrium (a central indoor area, usually with skylights and often containing plants).
No matter what happens, kids with a sweet tooth will be disappointed. Asked how much money will be spent for an ice cream stand, Ms. Cheh replied:
“Hah, hah, hah… I don’t think those will be in the plans, but I’ll tell you what. Architects and planners for the school will meet and they will decide on the plans for the school.”
Reprinted with permission from Vol. 1 No. 1., The Blue and Gold, Murch Elementary’s student newspaper.