Volume 105, Number 15 - April 10, 2008
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Town tells district to pick BloomField
With the decision as to where to construct the new K-5 elementary school looming on the horizon, the Town of Pinedale has recommended that the Sublette County School District (SCSD) #1 Board of Trustees choose the recently annexed BloomField subdivision.
While the site had not been determined as of Wednesday morning, secretary to the superintendent Sharron Ziegler said the school board held a special executive session on Monday evening to discuss property and personnel. Though she could not elaborate on the details of what took place, Ziegler said she expected the board would address the issue further at its meeting on Wednesday evening.
“They’re just gleaning information to make that decision,” she said.
As the process of selecting the location continues, the Town of Pinedale has submitted a document to the school board addressing engineering, safety and utility concerns that need to be attended to before a decision is made.
In a March 28 memo obtained by the Roundup and addressed to the school board, Town Engineer Eugene Ninnie outlined the town’s perspective on which parcel of land would be the safest, most efficient property for the construction of an elementary school. The two locations that Ninnie discussed
in the memo are a site on the corner of Slate Lane and Agate Street to south of town and the site at the corner of Ehman Lane and U.S. 191 in the new BloomField subdivision. After making several points, Ninnie deduced in the summary statement that, of the two, “the BloomField is the best of alternatives” based on the facts available.
Because there is no record available to show the traffic count at the south town site, Ninnie said the traffic patterns should be analyzed before it is considered as a location for such an institution.
“I don’t believe that the school board has a handle on the current numbers,” he stated. “However, the possible numbers are significant and a comprehensive traffic study should be done.”
The fact that more vehicles would be traveling through residential areas, Ninnie said the south town location would not be the most suitable.
“Traffic must pass through residential areas down Madison St., Lincoln St., Jackson St., Shanley Ave. or Fox Willow through Spruce or Meadowwood from south Tyler during peak hours of 7 a.m.–9 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.–3:30 p.m.,” he pointed out. “This will create a hazardous condition for those residences in the surrounding areas such as children, family pets, normal traffic traveling from the residences backing out onto these streets, etc.”
Though the Town Council has not been favorable of installing curbs and gutters in town in the past, Ninnie listed the absence of such walkways as one of the negatives of the south town location.
“Lack of sidewalks along aforementioned residential streets create a hazardous condition whereby walking school children will interact with vehicular traffic creating safety concerns,” he said.
Because that particular aspect will exist in the BloomField, Ninnie said it would be a more appropriate location for a school. “This residential component will be serviced with sidewalks and walking trails allowing separation of children walking with vehicular traffic,” he said.
Issues such as having adequate utilities also raised concerns for the town. “The water demand placed on a structure fire at this [south town] location has not been evaluated,” Ninnie pointed out. “However a significant pressure drop will occur in that area leading to the question of whether sufficient pressures are available for sustained sprinkler demands in the event of a fire.” And the fact that the BloomField will have better water access also makes it a preferred location, he said.
“Water installed will be a full 12” pressure main coming from the existing 24” main providing little or no pressure drop at the proposed location to sustain proper fire flow in the sprinkling system in the event of a fire,” Ninnie noted.
SCSD #1 business manager Vern McAdams assures that the district has not just haphazardly chosen the sites that are being considered.
“The board has certainly considered all of those things,” he said, adding that the members have made a list of pros and cons as well. “But it’s been a little more balanced than [Ninnie’s perspective].”
And while he also anticipated that a decision would be reached Wednesday evening, McAdams said he thinks the district has thoroughly researched all of the possibilities. “We’ve taken this much time to look into it and listen to people,” he noted. “So we’re certainly weighing our options.”
Ninnie did not return a phone call to comment on the memo at press time.
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