As mistakes go, this was a minor and inexpensive one.
In their rush to finish Big Spring Independent School District's four new elementary campuses before the start of this school year, work crews neglected to install wheelchair-accessible crosswalks in front of the new schools and now must go back and correct that oversight.
During their monthly meeting Thursday, BSISD trustees learned of the district's plan for installing the overlooked crosswalks.
Wayland Pierce, who has served as the district's liaison with construction crews during the project, made no excuses for the mixup.
“This was something that was just missed by everybody during the construction process,” Pierce said. “We were going at such a pace those final few weeks that this just got overlooked.”
The good news, Pierce said, is that the extra work will come at no extra cost to the school district and steps are being taken to minimize disruptions.
The crosswalks will be installed near the main entrances of the new elementary campuses, which will force the closure of the main drive while work is ongoing.
However, crews will only work on one campus at a time and will do a majority of the crosswalk work on the weekends, Pierce noted.
“The maximum, worst-case scenario is that this work will take about a week (per campus),” he said.
To deal with traffic disruptions, the school district adopted the following student drop-off plan for the four campuses while the crosswalks are being installed:
• Goliad Elementary — Students will be dropped off at the south end of the campus and parents will exit through the old Goliad parking lot.
• Marcy Elementary — Parents can drop off their students in the teacher parking lot in front of the campus or at the west entrance adjacent to Connally Street.
• Washington Elementary — Students will be dropped off at the northwest entrance to the school and parents will exit via the teacher parking lot.
• Moss Elementary — Traffic will not have to be diverted at this campus, so few if any disruptions are anticipated, Pierce said.
Plans for the new crosswalks are awaiting final approval, so no start date has been set for the work.
Pierce said this last-minute problem should not take away how smoothly the overall construction project has gone.
“We've had some little issues along the way, but usually all I had to do was make a phone call and — poof! — it was taken care of, usually on that same day,” he said. “For a project of this size, we've had way fewer issues than I anticipated.”
The school district will announce the dates for construction work once plans are finalized. For more information, contact the respective campuses.