Written by Greg Ellal
The new school, many love the idea, many oppose it. One thing is for certain, it’s happening, and all there is to do now is look forward to the improvements and changes from the current Morgan School. There are some concerns, however, as far as the safety for the pedestrians and the traffic on the roads as buses come in and out of the school.
After Clinton’s First Selectman, Bruce Farmer did not respond to requests for an interview, The Morgan Pawprint successfully contacted Project Manager of the new Morgan School Joe Crouse. He explained that although the parking lot has ample parking with 340 spaces, separate sections for students, faculty, visitors and
overflow parking(great for sporting events), there will be no crosswalk for pedestrians in front of the school. There will be no sidewalks on the Killingworth Turnpike (Route 81) which makes for dangerous travel for pedestrians who may want to go after school to Dunkin Donuts or the Henry Carter Hull Library. There will be no traffic light in front of the school. There are people concerned about the fact that there is no traffic light. They believe that it will make for slow and dangerous travel in, out, and passing by the school.
But why is there no traffic light? According to Crouse, the state decided not to give us a traffic light because we don’t have the traffic volume that the state requires for the site to be eligible for a traffic light. In fact, we only have 15% of the minimum traffic volume needed for a light.
There are improvements in the new parking lot design from the current parking at Morgan. The lot will be much safer for students to go from the parking lot to the school. In the current school, students park and have to walk across the entrance, which is very busy with traffic. They walk through the busy faculty parking lot and to the sidewalk on the side of the school. In the new school, the student parking lot has a sidewalk that leads to a crosswalk and then to another sidewalk straight into the school. This means students will no longer be in danger of being hit by cars in the busy travel sections of our lots. To see the full layout of the new schools parking lots and traffic flow designs, review the building traffic plan presentation.
The Pawprint wanted to know if the residents near the new school had concerns. were worried about noise, buses in the morning and afternoon, if they were opposed to a sidewalk being put in for student pedestrians, if the lane widening the town did bothered them, and if they had any opinions of the new school. Sherly of 60 Killingworth Turnpike, Jason of 54 Killingworth Turnpike, and Manuel of 81 Killingworth Turnpike (Route 81) shared their thoughts. Sherly and Jason told the Pawprint that they were not worried about noise in ther morning, and Manuel said that he does not know if he is concerned or not because he doesn’t know what it will be like to have a lot of noise in the morning. Sherly said that she is not worried about buses in the morning, and Jason said that the lane widening did not bother him. When asked if he would be opposed to a sidewalk being put in, Manuel said that he does not oppose a sidewalk being put in for the student pedestrians. When asked the same question, Sherly told the Pawprint, “No, I think they should have one. What are the kids just going to walk in the street?”. Sadly, at this point it seems as if that is what will happen. Finally, when asked for her opinion of the new school, Sherly told the Pawprint, “I can’t see why they don’t keep the old school. It’s not in that bad of condition.”
Whether that is true or not the town knows the opening of the new school is not far away. There are good things and bad things coming from this change, but we will embrace all the changes and go with the flow.