Archive for Tuesday, September 11, 2012

USD 464 looking at traffic issues

September 11, 2012

USD 464 is working with city officials to address traffic safety issues near Tonganoxie Middle School.

Vehicles have struck students twice in the past two weeks, the first happening at Washington and East streets and the latest Thursday at Pleasant and Washington streets.

Superintendent Randy Weseman said Monday he was working with the city to address the traffic issues. He plans to speak to the Tonganoxie City Council at its next meeting, which will be 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 24, in council chambers.

Thursday’s accident occurred about 7:20 a.m. at Pleasant and Washington streets, Tonganoxie police Chief Jeff Brandau said.

Mary Bartels, 41, Tonganoxie, was driving east on Washington Street in a 2008 Saturn sport-utility vehicle and was slowing down for the elevated crosswalk at Pleasant and Washington when Derick Colbourne, 11, was running across the crosswalk, police reports said. Bartels’ vehicle struck the 11-year-old. His mother took him to Lawrence Memorial Hospital where he was treated for minor injuries, Brandau said.

The police chief said patrols near the middle school have increased the past two weeks and an officer has been assigned to the area on a temporary basis. A crossing guard is arriving 15 minutes earlier, Brandau said.

“We’re hoping that will help solve the problem,” Brandau said.

Bond issue discussion

HTK Architects provided three possible elementary school scenarios for the November bond issue, which calls for a new elementary school. If the bond issue passes, the school would be built on the district’s 80 acres, which is home to Tonganoxie Middle School.

HTK and USD 464 officials toured new elementary schools in Atchison and Eudora for potential ideas for a new Tonganoxie elementary school.

HTK’s Travis Willson offered three preliminary options:

• A new school south of TMS. Positives for the site, HTK said, are that the ground is fairly flat and parking could be shared with TMS. Cons would be relocating the recreational fields that are there and looking at the issue of traffic if 12th Street were extended.

• A school southeast of TMS. Pros are plenty of space and strong traffic circulation. A perceived negative is long drives.

• A school east of TMS along Washington Street. The facility would include two levels, an upper level being at ground level with a gymnasium, cafeteria and classrooms. The lower level with more classrooms would be beneath the upper-level classrooms to the east. Pros would be good visibility and less infrastructure improvements and good circulation options. A perceived negative would be that it would be on a smaller site.

The options were preliminary plans; no action was taken to select a specific site at the meeting. The bond issue is for $27.2 million, though state aid would cover about $9.3 million.

Paying tribute to Sarah Carttar

Weseman spoke to the board about Sarah Carttar, a Tonganoxie Elementary School second-grade teacher who died Saturday following a battle with cancer.

Weseman also worked with Carttar while both were in the Lawrence school district.

An obituary for Carttar can be found on page 5 of today’s edition of The Mirror.

A long-term substitute teacher will be teaching her class.

Enrollment up

Early enrollment numbers indicate USD 464 has an increase of roughly 70 students.

Weseman said preliminary numbers show there are 1,920 students in the district: 697 at TES, 628 at TMS and 595 at the high school. He noted the district was up 33 percent in enrollment since 2002.

Contracts approved

The board approved, 7-0, contracts for these faculty members: Kimberlyn Angelo, TMS instrumental, TMS vocal and THS instrumental; Christine Biel and Tracey Waldeier, THS Science Olympiad; Jared Jackson, FBLA sponsor; Ursula Kissinger, grade-level chair for departments such as physical education and music; Jesse Leigh, seventh-grade boys assistant basketball coach; Jacob Linnell, TMS drama; and David Walker, THS yearbook.

The board also approved the creation of another sixth-grade language arts position. Susan Campbell was approved for that position.


12345 5 years, 7 months ago

It seems to me that simply reversing the entrance and exit at the middle school will do a lot to relieve traffic and congestion at those places.


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