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Vargas releases New Phase II Renovation Plans for City Schools

borgen_vargasRochester City School District Superintendent Bolgen Vargas has released revised recommendations for the second phase of the district’s $1.2 billion Facilities Modernization Plan (FMP), including relocating James Monroe High School, as well as the adjacent School No. 15, during the renovation process.

Under the new proposal, students and staff at Monroe would move to the Marshall campus, at 180 Ridgeway Ave., and those at School No. 15 would move to designated vacant space at School No. 6, on Upper Falls Blvd.

In addition, School No. 22 would move to the Franklin campus on Norton St., which is currently occupied by World of Inquiry School No. 58.

“The staff and families of School 22 have spent far too long in cramped and outdated educational space,” Vargas said. “We can, and should, let them move, as soon as possible, to a permanent new location that offers superior instructional space and amenities.”

Vargas said School No. 58 will move back to its newly-renovated building on University Ave. next month, and programs currently located at Marshall, including All City High, LyncX Academy and North STAR Academy, would relocate to available district space.

Additionally, he said the district plans to spend $45 million of the total state funds to renovate Monroe, and an additional $2 million to renovate East High School, in order to accommodate University of Rochester management.

However, he said one challenge for the district will be reopening School No. 16, which could cost anywhere from $20 to $29 million; or double the amount of funds the district has available.

“We will work with the school community, neighborhood groups and state leaders to develop a renovation plan for School 16 that meets the financial needs of the district, and the educational needs of students,” Vargas stated. “I am hopeful that we can have this plan in place next year, and let School 16 move back to a significantly improved facility by September of 2018.”

Students at the school are currently being housed at the Freddie Thomas campus on Scio St.

Vargas said the district needs approval from the city, as well as the Rochester Joint Schools Construction Board to go ahead with the plan.