Dear MA Community,
The following statement was read at the Board meeting last night. Please read through this statement in its entirety as it contains important information for all of the Monument Academy community.
“Monument Academy has been cooperating with El Paso County in an effort to remove school traffic from HWY105 and recirculate cars to our property during the morning and afternoon carline. We believe this to be in the best interest of our families as well as the safety of travelers on HWY105. As part of this process, the county asked MA to sign a MOU agreeing to the project. This prompted the school to engage legal council to ensure the school’s best interest was being met by the plan before signing the MOU.
Since MA West opened its doors in 2008, we have had a reciprocal parking agreement in place with the Church next door. However, the agreement expired in 2018, and after that time it was more of a “friendly neighbor” agreement. As part of our due diligence regarding the MOU with the county, the school contacted the Church to ensure we could continue to have emergency access of their driveway once our traffic was recirculated to our property.
I want to be clear that up until this point, the school had never received a complaint from the church. In fact, we had tried to find a local Bishop to meet with and could not find anyone to talk to at the local church.
The school was finally able to get ahold of someone at the church in May 2021. Mr. Richardson had a meeting with two of their attorneys from Salt Lake City who at that time didn’t have much knowledge of the situation, but informed him that they didn’t want to continue the shared parking agreement that had been in place since MA opened its doors.
In August, right before school started, the church informed MA that not only did they want to discontinue the shared parking agreement, but that they no longer wanted MA parents to use the west access driveway. Since that time, the school has gone to great lengths to try to offer solutions and work with the church to mitigate the traffic in a manner acceptable to them. We were asking not for a permanent solution, but a solution to allow parents to use this driveway until the HWY105 recirculation plan was built out this summer.
Unfortunately, the Church has refused all of our offers and solutions and has remained firm that as of November 8, 2021, the church will put up a gate so that Monument Academy is no longer accessible
from the driveway on HWY105, which is on church property.
To say the least, we are disappointed in the church’s position and unwillingness to work with the school. But in this situation, we are at their mercy because the school does not have an easement for the driveway. I hope you will trust that the school gave every effort possible to work together with the church.
The school also looked into the option to build a driveway on our property next to the church’s drive. However, we have decided that because of the extensive traffic study needed, permitting process, timing and cost for this temporary solution, that it will not be feasible to go this route. I apologize for not coming to you with better news this evening regarding this issue.
The county traffic engineers, along with representatives for the school have a meeting scheduled for Monday where we will discuss options to possibly sync traffic lights and help traffic flow as smoothly as possible. While we do not know the full extent of the problem the closure of the church access will have on the surrounding roads, we do appreciate the corporation we have received from El Paso County thus far in remedying the problem.
I know we will be able to rally together as a community and make the best of the situation until the recirculation plan is complete. Tonight, I would like to advise the Board that we should add a subcommittee to the HWY105 committee made up of parents, facilities, and administration which will be tasked with coming up with the best solution possible for our morning and afternoon carline beginning in November through the end of the school year. This committee will present a plan to the Board in a Special Board session before November 8, 2021.”
If you are a parent who prides themself on efficiency and would like to be considered for this subcommittee, please contact the Board at email@example.com. We need to bring the best minds
together to come up with a reasonable solution.
The Board scheduled a special session on Thursday, October 28th at 6pm at the East campus to hear the recommendation made from the sub-committee on new carline procedures. Board meetings are open to the public and we encourage you to attend.
Thank you for your support and interest in this matter. As always, we welcome all comments and questions via e-mail.
MA Board of Directors