Do you want answers to questions regarding the new Olguin Campus? Well, you are going to have to wait because the hour and a half “Coffee with the Principal” meeting did not allow time for questions and answers. The first 45 minutes was utilized to play a game trying to get neighbors to interact with each other. The rest of the meeting, unfortunately, seemed to further the polarization of the pro-open Alma St. gate neighbors with the pro-close Alma St. gate neighbors.
Posters were set up on opposite sides of the room for residents – one pro-open gate, the other pro-close gate. Separate microphones were used for each “side” for 30-second airing of concerns. Separate notes were being shown on the large overhead screen. Let’s hope the Town Hall Meeting planned for September 12 at 6pm at the flagship campus auditorium will be better utilized to bring residents together on this issue instead of furthering the divide.
The main topic this morning, of course, was the use of Alma Street for buses and pedestrians. Principal Jeanette Stevens said bus trials were run the week before school opened and they realized the Gaffey Street entrance was not going to work between classes because travel time was too long and the gate at Gaffey Street is too narrow for buses turning left out of the school. In mid-September, the gate is scheduled to be moved 20′ further from Gaffey Street to enable more room for buses to turn.
Currently buses are using Alma Street at several periods during the day – during nutrition, lunch and seventh period. Since some classes and sports are held at only one campus, students must travel back and forth to participate. Concerns from neighbors included the safety of Alma Street, cars running the stop sign at Alma and 30th Street, kids not having time to eat lunch (eating is not allowed on buses), and the extra time it takes for kids on the north or west side of campus to use the Gaffey Street entrance at 32nd Street.
Several possible solutions were suggested by residents: create a one-way loop utilizing Leavenworth Drive and Osgood-Farley/32nd Street, add adult supervision for traffic and pedestrian usage of the Alma Street entrance, start or end school 10 minutes earlier/later to allow time for busing via Gaffey St., or allow pedestrian access only at Alma Street.
Do you have ideas on what can be done to make this new campus work for the kids and the surrounding neighborhood? Please let us know in the comments section below.
Remember: Town Hall Meeting to discuss the Olguin Campus, September 12 at 6:00 pm at the flagship campus auditorium, San Pedro High School, 1001 West 15th Street.