New changes affect students driving to annex

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New changes affect students driving to annex

Natalie Brink, Staff Reporter

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Students are no longer allowed to drive their vehicles to the annex during the school day. This new rule was put into place Sept. 2. The driveway that goes around the far side of the stadium will be closed during school hours, but it will be open in the mornings and afternoons.

“During the school day, we don’t want people driving through that crosswalk while we’re trying to get students across safely,” associate principal Wendy Sturdevant said. “We’re not doing it to be mean; we’re doing it to try to keep our students safe.”

This change is permanent, but it might be adjusted to help traffic flow. Assistant principals are monitoring the parking lot during passing periods to see how the change is affecting traffic flow.

“We’re still trying to figure it out,” Sturdevant said. “This is totally new, having the annex this year, so we appreciate everybody working with us as we work through the best way to do these things. This isn’t a perfect system, but our priority is student safety.”

This new rule isn’t the result of anybody being hit by a car, but there were fears over how many people were almost hit.

“We’ve had so many close calls because students are driving very recklessly,” Sturdevant said. “We’re being proactive and putting in safety measures to make sure that doesn’t happen. We’re just trying to find the best way to keep our students safe.”

Senior Sydney Kuykendoll walks to the annex. She is one of the many students who have almost been hit by a student driver.

“It didn’t make me feel unsafe, just angry,” Kuykendoll said. “So I would say the new rules are good.”

Though she was almost hit, Kuykendoll doesn’t think that the measures taken by the school aren’t as effective as they could be. She believes that the school should make passing periods longer.

“A lot of people, I’m sure, take advantage (of being able to drive to the annex) and drive off campus,” Kuykendoll said. “But eight minutes is not enough time for people to get over to the annex. Not driving would make them late to class, which would waste time in the annex classes.”

Students who drive to the annex have expressed that they don’t like the change. Junior Alison Vaglica is one of the students who used to drive to the annex. She agreed with Kuykendoll that there are better ways to solve the problem, like driving the other way around and avoiding student pedestrians.

“(The change) has a negative impact on me, but I know on the people walking it’s a positive impact,” Vaglica said. “I think they could have found other solutions than to stop traffic completely.”

The new rule made Vaglica walk to her annex class in the rain. Her computer ended being fried by the water.

“I was not very happy,” Vaglica said. “I don’t want to walk in the rain and have it die again.”

Despite some students being unhappy with the change, Sturdevant said that no students have come to her with complaints. She expressed multiple times that the changes revolved around students’ well being.

“We want to make sure we keep our students safe,” Sturdevant said. “That’s our number one priority.”

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