Construction Creates New Traffic Pattern

Construction Creates New Traffic Pattern

The high school is implementing a new traffic pattern in the near future to provide construction with more space to work.

The location of construction, which is at the old front section of the building where the large staircase is, will affect the route parents/individuals take for drop-offs in the morning, as well as possibly increase traffic for student drivers parking near the water tower.

Principal Kevin Molin explained that the new drop-off system will require a new route for student drop-off traffic.

“Parents will drive up around just like they’re [going to] go to Southern Elementary, and they’ll turn and they’ll drop off in front of Southern Elementary,” Molin said. “Students will walk along the sidewalk and come in through the music wing, right by Mrs. Deluca’s culinary room.”

The sidewalk from Southern Elementary school that is leading to the high school is where students will walk after being dropped off. Photograph by Jenna Shumin

The need for a new traffic pattern was to allow construction to have enough space to continue renovating the school.

“They’re also going to start to separate the tower wing from the rest of the building… that’s going to be demolished,” Molin said. “They need space to be able to pull trucks in and be able to take debris…out. There’s a lot of mechanicals that are under the ground in that old front section of the building that they’ll need to extract…, so they really just need the space.”

The old front of the building is where construction will take place, and current drop-offs here will end. Photograph by Jenna Shumin

The bus drivers will not be impacted differently by this new route, but student drivers will be.

“ …student drivers…come all the way around and come to the stop sign, where the buses spin around and do their circle, and the kids then go out into the water tower parking,” Molin said. “It will impact them because there will be a little bit of a back up to the traffic cause as people drop off, they’ll probably impede that area, but buses will not be impacted.”

Student drivers, like junior Jess Wagner, were hoping for the new traffic pattern to decrease backup and help save time.

“I hope that there’s better flow in and out of the school because right now there’s limited access to all the parking lots, and it’s just really hard to get in and out,” Wagner said.

Junior Rachael Diggs, also student driver, wished for improvement within the new traffic pattern.

“…to have the traffic flow a bit better, so we’re all not crowded and trying to escape school from everywhere, all at once,” Diggs said.

After construction changed the routes of transportation within the campus, individuals, like driver’s education teacher Joe Sorice, have expressed concern about the three schools on campus not being connected anymore, as they’ve previously been through roads and parking lots.

“The biggest issue is the split from the middle school to the front of the high school and the elementary school,” Sorice said. “People coming from the elementary school side have the right of way, so if you’re coming from the new student parking lot, by the cafeteria, and the middle school, you’re sitting there for quite some time.”

Students sit in traffic to leave the school campus. Photograph by Jenna Shumin

Students, such as junior Erin Jackson, have also voiced their opinions on the new campus routes.

“I don’t like how one entrance will only lead you up to the water tower parking, and I don’t like how I have to go all the way around to the other entrance to get to the trainer parking,” Jackson said.

However, students enjoy having the ability and opportunity to drive to school.

“It benefits me because I’m flexible if I need to stay after school, I have a ride home, and I can take my friends if they need it,” Wagner said.

Some student drivers have shared advice in hopes of reaching new student drivers who are just starting to drive to school.

“Just be patient because you’re often [going to] have to wait in many lines, but that’s just what everyone has to do… there’s really no way around it right now,” Wagner said.

Diggs highlights the importance of time management when dealing with school traffic.

“Be very comfortable with your time, and get here as early as you can so you don’t have to deal with traffic,” Diggs said. “If you’re trying to leave as soon as you can, it’s going to be worse; just wait a little bit and just let the traffic flow.”

Driving to school should not be taken lightly, as student drivers are responsible for the safety of themselves and others.

“Driving to school is a privilege, and [students] need to take their time, they need to be patient, and they need to be observant of other vehicles and pedestrians,” Molin said.

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