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Categorized | IN OUR COMMUNITY

Monitor In A Minute

Posted on 05 June 2017 by Calvin

By JANE MCCLURE

One more year for preschool
Children’s Center Montessori, which has served Hamline Midway families for 45 years, won’t have to move this fall after all. The school has been given a one-year lease extension by its landlord.

That is welcome news for school leaders, staff, and families. The school has been housed in the former Knox Presbyterian Church, 1536 W. Minnehaha Ave., for its entire history.

The church’s closing and sale to a faith-based organization a few years ago put the preschool’s future in doubt. But officials were told this spring that they would be able to stay for another year.

McMurray drainage is eyed
Drainage issues at McMurray Field, 1155 Jessamine Ave. W., are washed away with help from the Capitol Region Watershed District. The St. Paul City Council May 24 approved a cooperative cost share agreement with the watershed district, to provide reimbursement of $80,605 for construction costs of storm water diversion infrastructure at McMurray Field in Como Park.

The plans for McMurray are part of the watershed district’s 2017 budget and work plan. City Parks and Recreation and watershed district officials have worked on plans for many months. Stormwater runoff is a longstanding problem at the fields, which are heavily used.

The solution reached is a volume reduction and stormwater reuse project beneath the fields. The watershed district has asked for city indemnification for the project, which the city has agreed to provide.

Steps taken on pedestrian plan
The long trek to a St. Paul Pedestrian Plan moved steps closer May 17 with St. Paul City Council approval of a $50,000 grant. The grant, which is from the Ramsey County Public Health SHIP Program, will help the city develop a comprehensive plan to improve pedestrian access throughout St. Paul.

The plan will help the Department of Public Works analyze pedestrian infrastructure needs, set priorities and develop implementation strategies. Many parts of the city still lack sidewalks. Other sidewalks are in poor condition or aren’t don’t meet disability accessibility regulations. Many neighborhood leaders have also asked for more to be done to promote pedestrian travel through St. Paul.

Additional funding will be taken from the city’s 8-80 Vitality Program, to provide a match of $51,731, to provide a total budget of $101,731.

The plan will be developed over a period of several months and will include opportunities for input. Public Works and the Department of Planning and Economic Development will be involved in the plan.

The city’s Long-Range Capital Improvement Budget Committee recommended approval of the project funding May 8.

Longtime Central, Como leaders honored
Longtime Central High School Principal Mary Mackbee was honored May 18, when the St. Paul City Council declared it to be Mary Mackbee Day in the City of St. Paul. The honor is one of many that caps her 50-year career.

Mackbee is credit with changing the face of public education in St. Paul Public Schools. She was the district’s first female assistant high school principal and the first African-American female appointed as high school principal.

Mackbee mentored and coached hundreds of principals and assistant principals over her career, and is sought out by colleagues for her advice, support, and wisdom.

She spent the last 23 years at Central and led the school through its 150-year anniversary celebration. The City Council saluted Mackbee for continuing Central’s tradition of excellence and for providing quality learning opportunities for all students.

The council also honored Theresa Neal of Como Park Senior High School for her long career. Neal is a longtime social worker and school administrator.

She was honored as an “unsung hero of the education system” and had May 17 declared as Theresa Neal Day in the City of St. Paul. Neal was also recognized for her work with Camphor United Methodist Church and the YWCA,

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