The construction of a new Monterey Elementary School is drawing a lot of interest from the students attending classes in the current building as the project progresses.
It might be expected, as the new school is going up adjacent to the old on the same Dennis Lane property.
"They are very curious and have a lot of questions they are asking," Monterey Principal Brian Baker said. "When it was warmer out, they loved to walk over to watch and now that it's cold outside, they are looking out the windows at what's going on.
"We look at the construction project as an educational opportunity, a learning tool and an enrichment opportunity," Baker said.
At the beginning of the school year, 12 third- and fourth-grade students were selected by teachers to participate in "The Monterey Project: The Story of Monterey Past, Present and Future."
"It's a project I'm really excited about," Baker said.
The students are spending the year researching and putting together a project that will look at the history of the school, provide an overview of the construction project and examine Monterey's future in its new building.
"They are working regularly to collect facts, reading and researching using online resources, and they will also be conducting interviews with former and current staff members and students," Baker said. "We're trying to get the word out to alumni to get their stories and memories of attending school at Monterey."
The students are also talking to construction managers and crew members about the work they are doing, he said.
"The construction people have been so cooperative, coming to talk to students and always willing to answer their questions," Baker said.
The project "is all student driven. They will be coming up with the final product," he said.
The students participating in "The Monterey Project" are working with an elementary gifted and talented instructor and an educational technology teacher throughout the year, Baker said.
"At the end of the school year, I would like to have something that they can present, perhaps in PowerPoint format, to the rest of the students and that we can make available hopefully online as well," he said.