City of Montrose opens up Pavilion for school use

(Yzabelah Roberts)
Published: Mar. 4, 2021 at 5:06 PM MST
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MONTROSE, Colo. (KKCO) - In the Montrose County School District, the pandemic hasn’t been the only obstacle faculty and the administration have had to work around to get students learning in-person. Asbestos in two separate schools has caused many more students to transition to online learning.

But on Thursday, the City of Montrose and the Montrose County School District announced a partnership to continue in-person instruction at the Montrose Pavilion for Centennial Middle School seventh and eighth graders. Last month, asbestos material had been found in parts of the south school campus. Similar material was also found in the Olathe Middle High School (OMHS) which forced many students back online. The district says through creative maneuvering, all OMHS students will be able to return 100% in-person in Olathe on March 15.

School will begin for Centennial students at the Pavilion on March 15, and could go through the end of the year.

“When the school district asked for our help during this difficult time, it was a no brainer,” Montrose City Manager Bill Bell said. “The schools have had to deal with Covid restrictions, online learning, and chaotic activity schedules for a year. The least we could do was allow them to use our Pavilion Event Center building for an ad hoc school.”

“The Pavilion is actually set up really well for education with classroom and auditorium space, modern technology, outdoor courtyard and open space, and kitchen facilities. I am so proud of the outstanding and mutually supportive relationship that exists between the City and our School District here in Montrose,” noted Bell.

“We are extremely grateful to the City of Montrose,” Centennial Middle School Principal Joe Simo stated. “While this year has been tough, our students and staff continue to rise above the obstacles. Centennial Middle School teachers are the most creative and passionate in the world and they are excited to take on this new challenge of facilitating learning in an alternative space.”

The Centennial Middle School North Building was cleared for use by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s (CDPHE) Air Quality Division and CtMS sixth graders will continue to use the space and classrooms.

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