School puts off parking lot project until 2016

MARQUETTE — The proposed summer project at Sandy Knoll Elementary has been put on the backburner until next year.

MAPS Superintendent Bill Saunders and a couple members of the school board were at the elementary school this morning, where they met with the engineering firm in charge of designing the project. The school’s location and limited space has led to multiple designs and concepts detailing how to re–configure the school’s parking lot and traffic flow.

According to Saunders, the most important thing about the project is ensuring the safety of the students.

“We want this to be a safer environment for students,” said Saunders. “To do that we have to alleviate some of the congestion. One of the ways to do that is to separate cars and buses. That’s one of the proposals we’ve looked at. Having a bus loop separate from a parent drop off. Another plan is having parent cuing areas. Right now, all of the parents have to cue on one of the side streets.”

“Safety is definitely paramount with everything that we are doing on this site,” said Tracie Williams, a director at OHM Advisors. “Our challenges are represented by understanding the priorities of the district. They often differ between the people that use the building and the people in the community. We have to bring all of those priorities together to come up with a solution that’s going to meet most of the needs of the district and the community.”

The entire project is expected to cost the district between $400,000-$700,000.