GREENVILLE – As the new school nears its completion, the Greenville City School District has been planning new bus routes and walk zones for the new school, opening January 12, 2017.
“As we begin finalizing routes, we wanted some input in terms of establishing a walk zone or group stops,” Greenville Superintendent Douglas W. Fries said during a recent Greenville School District Board of Education.
Buses are routed to make stops to pick up students in the morning and drop them off after school. The opening of the new Greenville Primary and Middle School brings adjustments to these routes. Walk zones for the current locations will no longer be walk zones, since the students will attend school in the new location. They will be replaced with walk zones in the area of the new school. For grades 5-8, the walk zones will extend from the school to Eastwood Drive, Imo Boulevard and Oxford Drive. For grades K-4, the walk zones will extend form the school to Hickory Drive, Hilltop Drive and Oxford Drive.
Greenville City Schools Director of Administrative and Pupil Personnel Services Andrea Townsend submitted a report to the school board containing data about what area school districts do in terms of walking and drop zones.
“We have folks who are concerned,” she said. “I want to make sure everyone is on the same page. We have a couple of options: we could bus this year and not bus next year, we could shuttle large groups, or we could have a walk zone starting right now.”
Board Member David Madden was supportive of the idea of a walk zone.
“We have neighborhoods that don’t have sidewalks, and it’s going to be starting in the winter,” he said. “We should be conscious of that when we make our decision for this year. In the long term, I think it’s good to have walk zones. We don’t need to run buses to things that are close.”
Board President Fred Matix had some concerns, especially with K-4. He suggested possibly working with the Ohio Department of Transportation and the area police to ensure safety.
“In the dead of winter, where streets are plowed, kids will be walking in the middle of the street,” he said. “It’s just another angle we haven’t even looked at. I don’t know – we have to think of the kids’ safety.”
Board Vice President Brad Gettinger asked if arrangements could be made to have crossing guards at the walk zones.
The discussion ended with a consensus by the board to have walk zones with crossing guards. The board continues to review information and operations, and to make changes as needed.
According to Townsend, once the information is finalized students will receive a postcard in the mail, during Christmas break, containing their bus numbers and pick-up times.