Walter Mencken 11 a.m., May 24
Monarch School for Homeless Children to Break Ground on New Campus
Officials from San Diego's Monarch School are set to break ground on a new campus tomorrow.
The K-12 school, exclusively for children and teens impacted by homelessness, has outgrown the current 10,000 square foot facility on Cedar Street.
The new campus is a 51,000 square foot facility on Newton Avenue in Barrio Logan with a computer and science lab, outdoor amphitheater, basketball courts, and a playground. Classrooms will be separated by grade level, no longer bundled together due to a lack of space.
"Currently we have 150 students and 45 staff members on site crammed in a 10,000 square foot facility. Needless to say it can be pretty tight," says the school's new CEO Erin Spiewak. "Right now we have a 4,000 square foot concrete area that is our gym, our cafeteria, as well as our auditorium. It's outdoors and along the train tracks so it makes things pretty challenging.
Spiewak, who took over as CEO in January, says enrollment in the new school will increase from 150-students to 350-students.
The increased enrollment, however, is still only a fraction of the estimated 13,000 to 16,000 homeless children without a home in San Diego County.
"We have to turn away students because we just don't have the capacity."
Spiewak expects the new campus will be open by October of this year. Until then, Spiewak and school officials will continue to raise funds to pay for the $15 million project. They are currently $5.7 million short.
"We are continuing our capital campaign, inviting guests to visit the school and talk to the students and show them what the new facility will offer. For now, we are just excited for tomorrow."
Artist's rendering of new campus: monarchschool.org