Monroe plans to buy the old St. Jude School

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MONROE — The city is preparing to make an offer to purchase the former St. Jude School property on Monroe Turnpike, possibly for future use as a community center, according to first draftsman Ken Kellogg.

St. Jude School closed in 2017 due to declining enrollment, but it’s a good location for a community center that would free up space at City Hall, Kellogg said. He added that several city departments would have to approve the purchase.

The church would retain access to the parking lot and, temporarily, parts of the school building, according to the preliminary agreement. Kellogg will present a memorandum of understanding at the next city council meeting on May 23.

The city plans to offer up to $2.3 million for the property, which would make it a cheaper site than other potential community centers such as the closed Chalk Hill Middle School, which would likely cost around $10 million. dollars, according to DeCarlo consulting engineers. & Doll, who have investigated the matter.

Chalk Hill is also part of a current school campus, complicating security issues.

“I’m very sensitive to the fact that any municipal use of Chalk Hill must be consistent with the residential area as well as that of a school campus with specific security concerns,” Kellogg said. “We have explored various options for this building, including use by various outside organizations, but none come close to full occupancy and cost support.”

In a statement, Kellogg said the structure of the St. Jude building, although old, would benefit the city because it could accommodate not only a community center, but additional city-provided services could also be relocated to the site. site, thereby reducing clutter at the town hall.

The memorandum of understanding will confirm both parties’ desire, while allowing the city to conduct additional due diligence while working toward a more detailed purchase agreement, Kellogg said.

“Ultimately, the purchase will absolutely require further approvals from the city council, the finance board and ultimately at a town meeting, as required by the town charter,” he said.

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