Construction of a middle school enclave and theater will resume by December or January, and the schools’ pool parking lot will be reconfigured within a year, a district official told members of the Corona del Mar High School and Middle Schools’ PTA this morning. But several parents asked that immediate steps be taken to improve traffic flow.
“Even if somebody would put some duct tape down it would help,” one parent said. “There are so many new people. They don’t realize they are blocking 50 cars while they sit and text.”
The pool lot has three lanes for parents dropping off and picking up students, including one that is used for cars pulling through to exit. But a new curb was installed over the summer, making the three lanes tight if cars don’t stay within the imaginary lanes.
Jim Lamond, director of facilities for the Newport-Mesa Unified School District, said he would address the topic at a meeting later today to see if striping could be added. He said district officials planned to eventually reconfigure the lot and possibly find an alternate spot for buses.
“It needs to happen now,” another parent said. “Nothing is going to happen til someone gets hurt.”
Lamond told the group that construction of a middle school enclave and theater project likely will resume later this year after the state Department of Architecture approves the plans. Crews worked over the summer, demolishing a building and laying pipes and electrical conduits, he said.
When work does resume, he said it would be behind green fences.
“Then the noise will start,” he said. “The backhoes will fire up.”
Construction should take 22 months for the enclave and 20 months for the theater.
“I’m praying for no rain this winter,” he said. “Usually one day of rain causes three days of delays.”
He also told parents that police would no longer ticket cars parked on the streets around the school on street sweeping day after district officials promised to take care of street sweeping with their own equipment. Construction at the school, along with construction at Our Lady Queen of Angels across the street, has caused parking congestion in the area.
High School Principal Tim Bryan gave an update on recent revisions to grading policies, which standardized how teachers at the school weigh scores from homework, assignments and other criteria.
Bryan also said he believed Monday’s pranks at the school, which included toilet paper and graffiti done in washable paint on the gym walls and some classroom windows, was the work of a small group of seniors. He said he issued a stern announcement about school pride and felt that most seniors didn’t want to lose privileges if pranks continued.
“No one wants happy high school hijinks all year long,” he said. “They (students) feel it disrespects the school.”