During a session of Bedford County Board of Education last Thursday, potential traffic flow problems were discussed for the new Cartwright Elementary. With the design having student drop off/pick ups in vicinity of Fairfield Pike and Calsonic Way, some board members have some concerns about those areas becoming congested.
Board members Glenn Forsee and Brian Crews asked the most questions about the traffic routes which the architects had designed.
Forsee said after the meeting, “Every school impacts community traffic patterns and flow. The unique position of our new elementary school has the POTENTIAL of greatly impacting the north end of the city and county. It is essential that we thoroughly process every angle to the traffic impact of moving 800 plus people on and off the campus everyday. Two traffic access points are the key to minimize community traffic congestion as we build and grow. Asking key questions are a part our responsibility as a Board. Dr. Tammy Garrett, BOE Superintendent, will further communicate our thoughts to the architects.”
The new elementary school will be located behind Marelli near the 437 Bypass. School access will be from Highway 231 as well as Fairfield Pike. Bedford County Board of Education purchased the 23-acre plot of land from Suzy Cartwright of Shelbyville.
Design team pushing for dates
One sense of urgency for traffic concerns to be resolved is that Kline Swinney feels it is in the best interest of the board to have the final schematics by November. Cost continues to increase on materials, etc., it was noted.
The architects have designed for construction to start next spring.
Background for traffic routes
Ron Cosentino with Kline Swinney Associates, along with Enoch Jarrell, a civil engineer with Huddleston-Steele Engineering, presented a site plan back in June to the board for consideration for the new elementary school.
The school is currently being designed as a two-story building with pre-k, kindergarten, first grade and resource classes on the first floor. Second, third, fourth and fifth grades will be on the second floor along with additional offices.
Jarrell explained in June about how the traffic would flow at the new site. Their site plan has two entrances with the front of the school facing Fairfield Pike. Brian Crews asked back in June, “If you have an estimate on how much roadway that is within the site and what the upkeep would be over time?”
Cosentino and Jarrell spoke about the lanes for car riders, buses, and parking. Cosentino talked about the building, explaining where the cafeteria, media center, gym and administrative offices would be located.
While the original new elementary school design this summer was about 125,000 square feet, architects said Thursday that they’ve worked to save the school system some dollars by reducing that square footage down to about 113,000 square feet. Architects emphasized they obtained a savings in square footage without sacrificing planned classroom space.