Cars go, buses slow at Madison-Plains
By Dean Shipley
Staff WriterTraffic in and around Madison-Plains schools did not appear as congested Wednesday as had been initially thought. At least that was the scene at Madison-Plains elementary/middle school. So said two mothers who were waiting in their vehicles for their children exit at the end of the day. They were among the 12 vehicles waiting in a line at the rear of the middle school.
Rachel Thompson and Jennifer Petee both said they have the luxury of being able to drive their children to and from their homes.
Thompson, who drives an SUV, said the first day went “remarkably smooth” regarding traffic flow for private vehicles.
“I expected a delay at (state Route) 38,” Thompson said. “It wasn’t too bad. People took turns. It was pretty good.
Each car is assigned a number. That number is displayed on the dashboard. For example, Petee’s number is 5. The students, who ride home in that vehicle Alyson and Jacob, are written on a list with that number beside their names. That list is held by Cathy Haynes. When she matches students with vehicles, they can then board the vehicle.
Haynes said she started on Tuesday with a list of 12. That number had grown to 23 by Wednesday afternoon.
It wasn’t all as smooth as had been hoped. Superintendent Boone Hall, holding a radio, scowled as the long line of yellow school buses snaked in front of the middle school.
“They should have been out of here 20 minutes ago,” Hall said. His comment came at 2:55 p.m., some 34 minutes after dismissal time of 2:21 p.m.
Music teacher Gail Oravec, who watched the children move to their designated buses, was excited to be teaching all of her music students on one campus. It’s the first time in six years she has had her own music room. She no longer needs duplicates of tools formerly needed at all three elementary schools.
“It’s nice everything is here,” Oravec said. “All three elementaries are together and seeing each other.”
The central campus is something her father, the late Wilfred Garen, would like to see. He was a member of the Mt. Sterling Board of Education, “back in the Blue Devil days,” from 1956-1981. She said he was an advocate of a central campus 30 years ago and voted to purchase the extra land on which the campus sits today.
“He would love to have seen this,” Oravec said. “It was their goal to have this.”
Alyson Petee, third grade, said she liked the move from Midway elementary to the new elementary building.
What did she like the most?
“Air conditioning,” she said.