City and school officials worked toward minimizing the negative effects of construction-related traffic during a meeting Friday morning.
After discussion of the matter in Monday’s City Commission study session, agencies involved in the planning and construction of the upcoming Roosevelt and Lincoln elementary school expansions met at the USD 418 offices Friday morning to discuss the construction.
The meeting was an opportunity for the agencies involved in the planning process to discuss the current state of the plans. The meeting included the police and fire chiefs and representatives from the school district, the city and Compton Construction Corporation.
It was agreed by all those attending the plans would be presented to the McPherson City Commission at its Monday meeting. The public nor the press were allowed to attend Friday’s meeting.
The plans for expansion of the schools has been complicated by their locations in residential neighborhoods, potentially making the transportation of construction supplies and machinery problematic.
USD 418 Associate Superintendent of Business and Operations Chris Ruder said despite these issues, they loved the fact the grade schools are in residential areas.
“The key is to keep parents aware of what’s going on,” Ruder said, “and we have to ensure that emergency vehicles are able to come through, and that we don’t end up with trucks blocking the streets. We will make sure to communicate with parents, and we also hope to talk with neighborhood residents, too.”
McPherson Interim Public Works Director Steve Schmidt said he was impressed with the spirit of cooperation between the different agencies at the meeting.
“We expect everyone to keep open lines of communication through this process,” Schmidt said, “and everyone working on the project from oversight to construction to always ask questions and never assume anything.”
When asked about the construction plans, Walnut Street resident Julia Campbell said she had no problem with the possible inconvenience.
“It’s a short-lived thing,” Campbell said, “and you’ve always got to have some inconvenience to grow.”
Schmidt said work is underway to create detailed illustrations of the current plans for presentation to the city commission.
“I appreciate that USD 418 has included the city as an integral member of the team,” Schmidt said.