School has temporary parking lot fix
The school district wants to expand the parking lot eventually.
By NORMAN LEIGH
VINDICATOR SALEM BUREAU
SALEM -- City and school officials have resolved a safety concern at Reilly Elementary School, but schools Superintendent Dr. David Brobeck says it's only a temporary fix.
School officials have agreed to resume allowing parents to drive into the school's parking lot along Ohio Avenue to drop off and pick up pupils, city and school officials said Friday.
The district banned the practice several weeks ago, saying the vehicles were interfering with buses that also were there to pick up and drop off pupils.
Safety concerns: Not only were the parents' vehicles a problem, but the school district also was concerned about children running in front of and behind the buses, Brobeck said.
The ban, however, prompted complaints from parents who said they were forced to use streets near the school when hauling their children.
The arrangement forced youngsters to cross the street, creating a safety concern, parents said. The school houses grades K-3.
After a meeting among city and school officials, the school district agreed to resume letting parents drive into the parking lot, but only after the buses have left.
A security guard at the school will monitor traffic into and out of the parking lot.
Brobeck said the buses usually leave the parking lot early enough in the morning that parents can still drive into the lot to drop off youngsters before school starts.
The solution, however, doesn't solve a key problem with the lot, Brobeck said. The space is too small to accommodate parking and traffic needs.
Bigger lot: School officials hope to remedy that by expanding the lot, Brobeck said.
"When you have more space, you have more flexibility," he added.
Preparation for expansion began last year when the school district bought an abandoned house adjacent to the parking lot.
The house probably will be razed in the spring to make room for a parking lot addition, Brobeck said.