By Jeff Gallatin
District officials said they should have the new drive-thru and parking area by the North Olmsted Middle School ready by mid-September.
“Weather continuing to cooperate, we should be ready by mid-September,” Michael McDade, director of business services for the school district, said while reviewing the property where the middle school annex was recently demolished. The razing was part of a plan devised by school officials to provide more room and better access to the area and move vehicles in and out of the area when students are dropped off and picked up at the beginning and end of the school day.
McDade said with the recent stretch of good weather, the contractors doing the work at the site were able to get a lot of work done.
“It’s going very well,” he said. “They haven’t encountered any problems at the site and they’re getting the debris out pretty quickly. It looks like they’ll be able get the new parking and drive-thru in there without too many issues.”
Superintendent Mike Zalar was pleased by the progress of the project.
“No news is good news,” he said. “It’s been moving very fast now that we’ve had some days without rain.”
Middle school Principal Tom Dreiling said there haven’t been any problems pertaining to the demolition.
“If they keep up their pace, they should have that area empty and flat within a couple of days,” he said Friday afternoon. “And we haven’t had any problems with traffic with the temporary traffic pattern set up.”
Dreiling said both the dropping off and picking up of students since the school year began Aug. 21 has been going smoothly.
“It’s gone well with the buses,” he said. “They’re all getting out of the area without a problem within a minute and a half to two minutes. For the beginning of a school year, along with a traffic pattern caused by the construction, that is doing really well.”
Dreiling said there haven’t been any attendance issues either, even with an earlier start time this year, coupled with the work being done by the contractors.
“Students are getting to school on time and getting to leave in a timely manner,” he said. “Now, we’re just looking forward to getting the new area set up with additional parking and more room for the buses to come in and out. That should help the area even more.”
Scott Thomas, safety/service director for the city of North Olmsted, said the police department has not had any reports of traffic issues or safety problems near the construction site.
“There haven’t been any traffic tie-ups that we’ve had to deal with, and there haven’t been any problems with people at the work site since the one incident,” he said, referring to a person going on the demolition site to try to get bricks from the annex. “When it’s completed, the new area should be nice for the school district and people in the area.”