Road Closure Interrupts Students’ Arrival, Departure Time

Holly Williams, Staff Writer

The school parking lot resembled a Chick-Fil-A drive-thru during the dinner rush: lines wrapped around the block, traffic controllers and unruly drivers.

An email on April 7 notified parents of the week-long Tiger Drive closure, one of three school entrances and serves as the main entrance for buses, that caused a backup entering and exiting school. 

The remaining entrances quickly became congested every morning and remained so even after school began. 

For one week showing up to school 15-20 minutes late did not earn many students a tardy. 

Senior Elena Brown left 15 minutes early to avoid the traffic, but she said it still took longer than usual, and she barely beat the crowd.

After leaving at his normal time on Monday, senior Aidan Truckenbrod became one of the 50 cars lining the block to enter the car.

“I would say it took me 30ish minutes compared to my normal 10-15 minutes,” Trukenbrod said.

The entrances are normally teeming with cars but usually dissipate before the 7:15 a.m. bell. Cars lined the parking lot until approximately 7:30 a.m. when the last students parked and sauntered through the door without some teachers blinking an eye. 

Truckenbrod was 15 minutes late to school on Monday, but he said it wasn’t his fault.

“I don’t think the school communicated about the closure well enough,” Truckenbord said. “I had no idea what was happening until I found out about it through my friend.”

Brown agrees, adding that she thinks it should be a Schoology message since the school communicates every other message through the platform, but the project shouldn’t be done during school at all.

“I am not very happy about it,” Brown said. “I think they should’ve waited until seniors were out of school for construction.”

Whether the seniors are in session or not, students would still run from the school as soon as the 11:50 p.m. bell rings. Truckenbrod said the road closure exacerbated an ongoing problem. 

Between waiting for the buses at the back entrance and the parent-pick up in the front, students wait 10-15 minutes to get out of the parking lot normally. Now, students like Trukenbrod are doubling their departure time.

“It took an extra 30 minutes [to get out of the parking lot],” Truckenbrod said. “There were so many people honking.”

Senior Sondra Scoggin had a similar idling time but described the experience as frustrating. She said is glad the experience is only temporary. 

“Yeah [driving in the parking lot] has been a bit more stressful,” Scoggin said. “I had a friend ride her bike 5 miles just to avoid having to drive because of the traffic.”