by CASEY BENZI Staff Writer
The mural in the first floor G-wing of Monroe Township High School will be replaced with a removable panel housing a copy of the painting.
The teacher in charge of the art club, Mr. Mark Wetzel, had members of the MTHS club paint the mural, not knowing that it would later be covered.
Mr. Wetzel said, “There may be a need to put lockers in the hallway where the mural is located soon, so we have to change up how we create these murals.”
The mural will be copied onto a panel board similar to those in the new Applegarth elementary school. These panels are hung on the wall so that if things such as lockers need to be added to the hallways, the murals can just be hung somewhere else in the school.
With the next incoming classes, the high school will begin to run out of space for lockers. The ideal hallway to insert lockers would be the first floor G-wing, which would cover the mural.
“I think that they should move the lockers because it is a commemoration of the roots of monroe [sic] high. To move it somewhere else just won’t make it the same. Everyday I walk past it and appreciate it because it is in the main hall. If it were anywhere else I would not see it or appreciate it as much. The mural is so nicely painted that it shouldn’t be blocked and should stay as it is to represent monroe [sic],” says freshman Frank Sigismondo.
Principal Robert Goodall wants to apologize to the art club since their original creation will have to be painted over. He says that he takes responsibility for the “mishap”, but it will not be a huge issue.
“Unfortunately, I got ahead of myself with trying to decorate the school and bring some history to our new building. I appreciate the understanding of the art club. I think our new plan will look really cool when we complete our project,” said Mr. Goodall.
The new high school was very bare, so the art club planned out an original mural to dress up the walls a bit more.
Members of the art club spent many meetings devoted to the mural.
“We spent a handful or [sic] art club meetings planning the mural, and 20-30 sessions painting,” said Mr. Wetzel.
Originally, the plans for that wing were meant to showcase the history of MTHS.
Following these plans, the club painted the old high school in the middle of their mural first. Mr. Wetzel says that the purple and gold pictures along the sides were in the brochure of the first ever graduating class from the former high school in 1974.
Then they also fit in a silhouette of a farmer in the background of the high school since Monroe used to be mainly farm land. As planned, the mural portrayed a “then to now” scene of Monroe Township.
The old MTHS was the home of about 130 murals all over its walls and staircases. These murals were created by members of the Arts Career course.
For these students, painting their own distinctive mural was a project during the fourth marking period.
Their murals were each painted with unique ideas and creativity. There were only so many walls that students could paint on, but this project went on from 1974 to 2011.
Last school year, all of the murals were painted over due to the transition to the new high school. The old MTHS became the new middle school.
This switch-over was seen as an opportunity to start fresh since there was no more space for new murals and a new group of younger students would be moving in.
Having a new building with plenty of clear walls led to the controversy over allowing more murals or not.
Some students feel it is a great idea to have movable murals in the school while others feel sorry for the art club because their original artwork will not be displayed.
Freshman Gina Giudice says, “I think it is a great addition to our school. It is the one thing that keeps our school from looking like a prison and I think we should have more murals around the school. Although, replacing it with a panel is ridiculous. There is nothing like an original piece of art.”