History buffs were up in arms when Sandusky City Schools announced they would sell off at auction the Monroe Elementary School building. For more than 100 years the school nurtured elementary students. Thousands of Sandusky children found the guidance to smooth their transitions into adulthood within its walls.
The Sandusky Board of Education, realizing the economic burden a century-old building can be, decided Monroe had served its purpose well, but was straining its budget. With declining enrollment, the system needed to purge the buildings no longer needed.
Sycamore Elementary was the first to go several decades ago. A transformation into historic apartments kept that building alive.
The former Campbell Elementary School now houses the Safe Schools /Healthy Students initiative.
Now Monroe's building is at a turning point.
The Rev. Porter Richards, senior pastor of the Sandusky Church of God, recently purchased the building at auction for $136,000. His stated intention for the 32,638 square-foot building is a community center. He hopes to bring people of all ages, faiths and races together in a spirit of community for educational and recreational activities.
With so many groups and individuals in the community eager to make additions to already-operating activity centers, Richards' bold step to bring the center to fruition may be just the spark needed.
He has already proven to the community he is more than just talk. If his dreams for the aged building pan out -- and we're hoping they do -- Monroe School will continue to nurture Sandusky's children of all ages.