While the Jacksonville Independent School District Board of Trustees unanimously approved the preliminary plans for construction at Fred Douglass Elementary School at Monday’s meeting, there was some concern about the driveway and parking plans presented.
The Board asked Jeff Horton, of Claycomb Associates, Architects, if other options for the entrance and exit of cars to the campus could be examined.
“I think we have time to look before your next board meeting,” Edwards said.
Of concern to board members was the ability of drivers dropping off and picking up students at the campus to exit the proposed front circular drive onto East Pine Street.
The preliminary plans call for all car traffic to use a front circular drive that enters and exits from State Highway 135, also named East Pine Street, and all bus traffic will now use the rear circular drive at the school.
“I’d say probably 90 percent of people are going to turn left onto 135,” said Board Member Joe Casey. “I don’t want a problem like we have a Nichols (Intermediate). I want us to get this right.”
Board Member Dale Jamerson said he worries that traffic that now uses the back drive will be a problem to move to the front entrance.
“Anything we can do to make access and exit, easier, like Joe said, I think we should take some time to research it,” Jamerson said.
He mentioned that parents often enter the campus from the back and use the back drive to drop off or pick up their children, thus avoiding merging with traffic on East Pine Street, and changing that established traffic flow would cause difficulties for parents.
Board members discussed the possibility of connecting the new circular drive, with a car-stacking capacity of 80 cars, as opposed to the current capacity of