By Jeff Gallatin
School officials expect to have asbestos removal from the middle school annex under way by July as part of the preparations for demolition of the structure and creating a better traffic flow in the area.
“We have to get the asbestos removal done and then the demolition taken care of before we do anything else,” North Olmsted Middle School Principal Tom Dreiling said. “When it’s taken care of and if the city gives its formal approval, we can go forward with getting the actual demolition work taken care of.”
School officials have developed a plan to raze the annex structure to create a better traffic flow for buses and vehicles coming through the area before and after school. As it currently stands, if the demolition project is completed in time for the school year, buses will go to the west parking lot closest to the Board of Education headquarters building area, while cars will go to the east parking lot area.
North Olmsted Mayor Kevin Kennedy said the city will continue to assist with the project where it can.
“We’ve been working with them to help the project move forward,” he said.
Kim Wenger, director of planning and development for the city, said she appreciates the cooperation of the schools throughout the review process.
“They have worked diligently with staff, boards and commissions to ensure that the final condition of the property after demolition will be an improvement to the area and not an eyesore,” she said.
North Olmsted City Council’s Building, Zoning and Development committee Monday recommended approving the demolition work. The full council was expected to act on the plan at last night’s regular council meeting.
Kevin Kearney, vice chairman of the BZD committee, said council is aware the schools are trying to improve traffic flow and the overall area.
Dreiling said the preparations have been proceeding well enough for officials to continue to have the new traffic plans in place for the start of the 2013-2014 school year.
“It’s probably going to come down to the wire, but things have been moving along, so we have a Plan A which will be for having the new pattern in place with buses going to the west lot and cars going to the east lot,” he said. “And if something develops we have a Plan B ready to go into effect. In that one, the buses and cars will both still be going to the west parking lot area for dropping off the students.”
If the work is done by the start of school and Plan A goes into effect, visitors to the middle school main office will enter and exit through the east parking lot entrance. Plan B would have people enter and exit through the west parking lot with their cars, while using the east entrance when they walk into the building.
For consistency for people coming to the middle school, Dreiling said dismissal for students and their pickup will be in the same location as where they are picked up.
“Plan A will be simpler for people because of the additional room created with not having the annex there anymore, but we’re aware of the need to have another plan in case the demolition can’t go forward as quickly,” he said.
Dreiling said school officials will keep students’ parents notified as to how the projects are proceeding.
“We will be sending letters to all the middle school families and we also will be updating the progress of the work and let them know in advance how it will affect how the students should be coming to school,” he said.