GETTING SCHOOLED IN THE TEETH OF CONSTRUCTION – WITH A FORTHCOMING SHEETZ GAS STATION?
A large multi-lane roundabout is being built by WV Division of Highways (DOH) this year adjacent to the impending Eastwood Elementary site at the intersection of WV 705 and US 119/Mileground Road. The Monongalia County BOE is entirely irresponsibly planning a March opening of Eastwood Elementary, right smack in the middle of major highway construction, at the tail end of the school year. As noted previously:
Of course, it is ridiculous, irresponsible, and especially dangerous to move into the consolidated intersection school of Eastwood in “spring” when there would be only a few weeks of school left, about 6 weeks (if few or no snow days; the second to last week of May is the scheduled last week of school in Monongalia County for 2013). The bus routes and classroom shifting and other building logistics are daunting, and area drivers would not have time to adjust to the impending roundabout if it is even built by then [update: It will not be; thus, school access would be difficult and provisional]. Plus, the adjacent highways’ congestion will not only remain but is expected to worsen dramatically for an additional year or two or more, both given the imposition of Eastwood and pending construction of the additional lanes on the Mileground. (Even with additional lanes across the Mileground, congestion is only expected to be reduced not eliminated. Meanwhile traffic crashes are expected to increase, at what is already a hot-spot for smash-ups.) As explained in previous posts, there is no reason of any sort, contractual or otherwise, why Monongalia County Schools could not, at the very least, delay any shift to the consolidated intersection school and every reason why it should.
Monongalia County Schools and the West Virginia School Building Authority and the West Virginia state Board of Education entirely lacked the common sense to keep a brand new elementary school away from a major commuter and commercial intersection. The fault primarily lies with the irresponsible and incompetent decision-making of Monongalia County Schools Superintendent Frank Devono and WV School Building Authority Director Mark Manchin, along with the lackey and willfully ignorant county and state boards of education, which evidently serve as mindless rubber stamps to the odious.
[update: WAJR reports “Students that currently attend Easton Elementary and Woodburn Elementary will be able to attend their new school after the Easter break in early April.”]
[update: First day of classes for students at Eastwood is now scheduled to be April 3, 2013 - in the teeth of major highway and intersection construction, a mere 7 weeks before the last school day - school times will begin and end 45 minutes earlier than the current schedule. Eastwood Principal DeAnn Hartshorn recently announced that "Doors will open to students at 8:00" right in the middle of rush hour "with an Instructional Time of 8:15-2:50 dismissal time" at one of the afternoon peaks of rush hour. Additionally: "Kidematics, a before and after school care program, will be available."]
Will the school zone speed limit law be enforced?
Will Sheetz gas station move in?
And finally: To hell with the student safety mandates: roundabout crashes continue - as noted previously:
SCHOOL SITING SAFETY MANDATES EXIST FOR COMPELLING – LIFE AND DEATH – REASONS
If any basic lesson can be (re)learned from the Penn State child sexual assault and cover-up scandal, it is that moral depravity and loss of “institutional control” often assume the most mundane disguises: Official suits and ties, athletic dress, and casual wear at Penn State have gone hand-in-hand with child molestation and rape, assault, child neglect, child abuse, cover-up, and fraud by officials.
So too in the Eastwood Elementary siting scandal in Monongalia County by the Monongalia County Board of Education and the Superintendent’s office and the West Virginia School Building Authority, which in collaboration with West Virginia University’s highest officials and Board have arranged for the construction and future operation of a new elementary school at a heavily traveled, commuter, arterial highway intersection, in specific and explicit violation of state student safety mandate, state government rulings, and various related legal rulings. The similarities of the scandals are striking.
Monongalia County Schools Board of Education and the Monongalia County Superintendent and the West Virginia School Building Authority Director and Board, and other officials, have placed themselves (with very many schoolchildren) far out on a treacherous limb that they are determinedly sawing off.
And what lies below that long and crooked limb of negligence? Exactly what the West Virginia Division of Highways (DOH) predicts in its analysis of the impending Eastwood Elementary schoolside arterials:
“Crash experience is expected to increase” and “Capacity [congestion] issues at intersections may remain” … The DOH funded Mileground Traffic Report notes on page 21 that for the impending Eastwood schoolside “Five-Lane [highway]…vehicular conflicts and resulting crashes would be expected to increase when compared to the existing three-lane section and as traffic volumes grow.”
A quick look around the country shows what crashes and calamities one may expect:
“Mother’s Day Accident”:
“Bus Crash Kills”:
- Three-year-old girl killed crossing street by Hansen Elementary School.