Central Montcalm school board talks traffic flow

By Lori Hansen • Last Updated 11:43 am on Thursday, February 18, 2016

STANTON — After a second community dialogue meeting, an associate from an architectural firm presented an update of a conceptual plan for potential changes at Central Montcalm Public Schools.

Steve Hoekzema, from Tower Pinkster of Grand Rapids, presented to the school board on Monday a summary of feedback received following a public presentation on Feb. 10.

“We are building momentum, there was lots of energy in the room,” said Hoekzema, following a presentation where conceptual aerial views of the potential changes were given to the audience to mark up.

Throughout several public and staff meetings, the recurring themes of safety and security, and traffic flow/parking are main concerns.

“With our conceptual plans, and your input, we’ve gotten suggestions like continuing the service drive north, move the Michigan left closer to M-66. We learned that you like that practice field parking lot, you like the locker rooms near the stadium, and you like the baseball/softball/football restroom areas,” Hoekzema said.

“Other feedback was you liked the shared office with the Middle School and High School, and possibly Central Office, or possible have Central Office on the east side of the school,” he said. “You suggested a corridor connecter to the Middle School, and a place for Middle School students just to ‘be.’ There was concern from the food service people about the access from the kitchen to the trash.

“Your current building has lots of stairs and ramps,” he added. “You are the ‘rampy-est’ building I’ve ever seen.”

One other item that has been in question is the possibility of replacing a second drive on the north end of the high school campus. Tower Pinkster is corresponding with the Michigan Department of Transportation to see how feasible it is to have a second drive onto Sheridan Road (M-66).

“I’ve observed that most traffic coming into the drive is coming from the south (making a left hand turn from the highway onto campus), said School Board Secretary Bill Collins.

“And you can’t turn left (out of the driveway) to go north,” added President Bill Simpson.

Hoekzema said the second drive would help alleviate that, where the current drive could be used for entering and the potential second drive would be for exiting only.

Pre-bond discussions to help fund the project will be discussed at the next community dialogue meeting scheduled for 6:30 p.m. March 9 at the Middle School cafeteria. The public is encouraged to attend.

“At that time, we will try to narrow down what are our priorities and needs and what are our financial commitments,” said Superintendent Amy Meinhardt.

The plans can be viewed at central-montcalm.org online.


In Other Matters …

The Central Montcalm Public Schools Board of Education:

• accepted the administration’s recommendation for disciplinary action for four students in four separate incidents. Two high school students each received 180 days suspension while two middle school students each received 10 days suspension, with the addition of a progress report at the end of the year.

• approved a request for Sue Kearney for unpaid leave Feb. 9-11.

• accepted the resignation of Haley Dawe from her JV volleyball coach position, effective Feb. 5.

• accepted a request from Haley Dawe for a medical leave, beginning May 3.

• considered a revised meeting schedule for the board.


Correspondent Lori Hansen is a Greenville-area resident.

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