Quaker Valley School District officials met with local residents Monday night to present future student drop-off plans for the renovated middle school.
Joseph Marrone, director of administrative services, explained the plan to a handful of residents and fielded questions during an informational meeting at the Sewickley municipal building.
With student safety being the top priority, Marrone said the ultimate plan is to keep students and pedestrians separate from buses.
"We also want to make it less of an impact on the whole neighborhood," Marrone said.
School buses will enter behind the school to drop off students. When exiting, buses will turn left toward Chestnut Street to avoid bringing additional traffic on Harbaugh Street.
Parents will be encouraged to use Harbaugh as a one-way, entering from the Chestnut Street end. Six parking spots on Harbaugh will be reserved for parents to unload students curbside, Marrone said.
About 14 buses drop off at the middle school, though not all at the same time, Marrone said. Roughly 90 students are driven to school, he said, adding that the majority aren’t doing so for convenience.
“There is a percentage who get dropped off for special needs,” he said.
A handicapped accessible drop-off area is reserved for parents on Graham Street. For pedestrians, a crosswalk would be placed along Harbaugh at the Peebles Street end, to provide walking students a central location to get to school.
"The suggestion was to keep one spot for students...so that all students would have one place to cross," Marrone said.
Neighbors asked questions and offered advice, suggesting that not all students would use the new crosswalk. And because the roads are public streets, some neighbors pointed out, the laws won’t prohibit some parents from deviating from the suggested school route.
The $26.5 million school renovation is expected to be complete by Nov. 30, but students in sixth through eighth grades won't officially start classes until Jan. 7. Plenty of tours and orientations will occur between then to get students and parents acclimated to the new building.
Beginning in December, Marrone said the district will start the process of informing parents of the proper traffic flow and drop-off routes to avoid some of the past problems in the area of Peebles and Graham. Temporary signage will be posted to help direct vehicles, he said. School officials collaborated with traffic engineers and the local police on the plan.
Sewickley Council plans to discuss and approve the crosswalk plans at the committee-of-the-whole meeting next month.
Click on the map to get a better idea of the traffic plans.