Monrovia : Head Start Finds a Home

Two weeks after denying a preschool program permission to operate in Olive Avenue Park because of residents' opposition, the City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved Recreation Park as the school's site.

The federally funded program, Head Start, serves children in low-income families, abused or neglected children, and those with handicaps.

The Community Services Commission voted 4 to 2 last week to approve Head Start's move to Recreation Park, on Mountain Avenue. The program has to move from Plymouth Elementary School because the facilities there do not meet state standards for a Head Start license, said Cliff Marcussen, program director.

Options, the nonprofit child-care agency that runs Head Start, will pay the city $1 a year to lease a mobile classroom and 3,500 square feet for a playground.

After a long hearing, during which residents had voiced concerns about traffic and noise if the program used Olive Avenue Park, the council on March 21 denied a permit.

Community Services Director Eileen Brownell, who has been working with Marcussen to find an alternative site since that meeting, said the new site is surrounded by park space and faces a city maintenance yard.

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