ROCK SPRINGS – Work to improve the parking lot at the Rock Springs Junior High will begin this summer. Included in the two-year plan is adding another bus lane as well as parent drop-off lane.
This summer, the district plans on adding additional parking to the rear portion of the school.
On Monday night, Building and Grounds Director of Sweetwater County School District No. 1 Dan Selleroli explained to the school board they had a small “cave-in” and will also be doing repairs to areas in the parking lot. Due to the flooding last spring and drainage issues, the parking lot has experienced more damage than normal.
On Wednesday, the school district proposed its project to the Rock Springs Planning and Zoning Commission. Along with the added parking this summer, the district also expressed its intent to add a bus lane and parent lane in the summer of 2017.
Along with the added lanes, Selleroli said they will also add raised sidewalks to increase safety and make it more adequate for the special service students at the school.
The district has said in several different presentations its intentions to look at the existing school parking lots and work to make them safer. Another school which has been discussed in Westridge Elementary. The state has also put the junior high parking lot as a concern and is providing maintenance dollars to the district to address the issue.
At the Wednesday meeting, one resident spoke about his situation and concerns about the project. He lives behind the RSJH and informed the board he has had issues with the district. He explained there have been many times he has been awakened at 3 a.m. by headlights of one truck plowing the parking area behind the school.
He said he spoke to the district, and they made a compromise that they would not start plowing until 5:30 a.m. He also said he contacted the Rock Springs Police Department and city and was told there was nothing they could do about it.
The possible solution the homeowner gave to the board included building a sound wall between the school and the residents behind the junior high. He said the easiest solution was if the district was forced to obey the noise ordinances of the city.
Selleroli said the state would never agree to pay for a sound wall which would mean the cost would come out of the district’s pocket. Selleroli also explained as part of the compromise, the district holds off plowing the area until 5:30 a.m. and also dedicates more resources to get it done quicker and more efficiently.
“There have been districts I’ve worked for where we started plowing at 12:30 in the morning,” Selleroli said explaining teachers and students start arriving before 7 a.m. and it has to be plowed before then. “It is just something that has to be done.”
Selleroli also noted the school has been there since 1975.