Middletown school board reversal: $10M school expansion plan approved

After rejecting his plan in January, Middletown school board members unanimously approved Superintendent Marlon Styles Jr.’s (left at podium) revised, $10 million expansion plan of Rosa Parks Elementary at Monday evening’s board meeting.(Photo by Michael D. Clark/Journal-News)
After rejecting his plan in January, Middletown school board members unanimously approved Superintendent Marlon Styles Jr.’s (left at podium) revised, $10 million expansion plan of Rosa Parks Elementary at Monday evening’s board meeting.(Photo by Michael D. Clark/Journal-News)

Middletown Schools will spend $10 million to expand Rosa Parks Elementary school to help solve the city schools’ overcrowding problems.

The governing school board voted unanimously Monday evening to approve the expanded school plan after rejecting a different version proposed by Superintendent Marlon Styles Jr. in January.

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Styles later apologized to board members saying he had “failed” them and promised to deliver a new school expansion plan, which he did earlier this month.

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The $10 million construction plan, whose funds are left over from a $86 million building of a new middle school and expanded high school, will expand Rosa Parks with 13 new classrooms opened by August 2021.

Originally, Styles’ plan called for expanding Central Academy and moving a grade from that elementary school.

Under Styles’ revised plan, Rosa Parks enrollment of 575 students will grow to 800 by the time school starts in 2021.

He had told board members the modernization of learning reforms his leadership team began in 2017 will require not only smaller classroom sizes but expanded learning spaces within existing elementaries.

School officials said architectural and engineering studies of all seven of the district’s elementary schools showed Rosa Parks was the best campus site for the vast majority of the project.