Ed Dyer, director of operations for the district, said they are changing the bus loop at the school to improve traffic and are working with Batavia Township and county officials to construct a gravel walking path for students who live nearby.
“We had major safety issues with traffic on Clough Pike,” Dyer said. “It became a difficult situation out there.”
Dyer said officials in the district met with the sheriff’s office and Batavia Township to look for solutions to the problem and also hired an engineer to work on a plan to correct traffic issues.
“We are creating another bus loop for safety reasons,” Dyer said.
Dyer said they are currently working on building the new bus loop to get some of the bus traffic away from the car traffic at the middle and high school.
“The buses will come in a different direction, which will change the pattern for the cars,” Dyer said.
He said construction crews are working to remove fences, install blacktop and sidewalks for the new bus loop, which the district will begin using this school year.
Dyer said funds for the project are coming from the district’s permanent improvement fund, and the project is important because the issue was raising so many safety concerns.
Dyer said they are also working on a project with Batavia Township and Clermont County to construct a gravel walking path for students who wish to walk to and from school.
Dyer said last year, students were walking through an easement into Buxton Meadows near the school, which became an issue with neighboring property owners because of the volume of foot traffic. He said the easement was closed because of the issues.
“There is nowhere else to walk,” Dyer said. “This is an attempt to give them a place to walk off of the road.”
Dyer said the project is being completed by the district, Batavia Township and Clermont County.
“We’re donating the land, Batavia Township is doing the grating and hauling of the gravel, Clermont County is providing the gravel and the district is assisting with the installation of the gravel,” Dyer said. “It’s quite the collaboration.”
Rex Parsons, Batavia Township administrator, said the township wanted to help with the project, and it is nice that the district, county and township can coordinate their assets to complete the walking path.
He said the path will run along Amelia-Olive Branch Road and provide access to Buxton Meadows and Thomaston Woods.
“That should give the kids a safe area to walk,” Parsons said.
Parsons said they hope to begin working on the nearly 400 foot gravel walking path this week. The area has already been cleared out and mowed.
Dyer said they will also be widening the drive out of the school complex to allow for a right turn lane for vehicles and will be putting a cross walk on Clough Pike that connects to the sidewalks.
“It’s all for the sake of safety,” Dyer said about the projects.