Developers of Riverwood Plantation say they don't want student motorists driving in their community, not even the ones who live there.
Riverwood developers plan to build a road running next to the Greenbrier schools complex, connecting Riverwood Parkway and Washington Road. In a letter sent to school officials, and presented to the Columbia County school board at a Tuesday meeting, developers stated they want all school traffic to use the new road and avoid Riverwood Parkway, which is the only current entrance and exit into the neighborhood.
"It is the developer's opinion that any high school student who lives in Riverwood and drives to school should endure the inconvenience of having to drive back out to Washington Road, via the new road, and return into the community via the main Riverwood Plantation entrance," wrote Steven M. Bryant of Bryant Engineering PC, who is working with Riverwood developers, Riverwood Land LLC.
"It would be our preference to move as much, if not all, of the high school traffic, buses included, out of Riverwood Plantation via the new road," Bryant wrote. "We would look to discourage any of this traffic flowing back into the community."
School board members balked at the request.
"This is a great idea and a great concept, but we can't be dictated to on the routing of our traffic," board member Wayne Bridges said.
The board is considering donating a small portion of land from the Greenbrier High School campus to developers to build the road in exchange for a second entrance and exit into the high school. School officials hoped to relieve some of the heavy traffic from the school that accumulates each morning and afternoon at the intersection of Washington Road and William Few Parkway.
Board members said school motorists heading west toward Appling could use the new road and turn right onto Washington Road. Board Chairwoman Regina Buccafusco said asking students to turn left on that road without a traffic signal, which is available at the William Few Parkway and Washington Road intersection, is too risky.
"We need to be concerned about the safety of our students," she said.
Also at the meeting:
- The school board gave final approval, with some minor changes, to a new attendance policy meant to toughen truancy punishments. Aspects of the new policy require schools to report students to police if they garner three unexcused absences or seven overall absences.
- The board gave final approval to a $134 million budget for the 2005-06 school year.
- School Superintendent Tommy Price received a satisfactory rating on his annual job evaluation, which was conducted in a closed session before Tuesday's meeting.
"It didn't give us an outstanding column, so we had to settle for satisfactory," Buccafusco said.
"Of the options that you had, (satisfactory) sounds like a good one," Price responded.
- Michael Johnson was named the new principal of Evans Middle School. Johnson had previously served as an assistant principal at Greenbrier High School.
"I'm looking forward to getting in there and making Evans Middle School the No. 1 middle school in the county," he said.
- Price announced at the meeting that a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new River Ridge Elementary School on Mullikin Road has been set for 5 p.m. Aug. 2.
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