Potholes aplenty at DeWitt Public Schools’ parking lots and access roads

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By Holly Osmer
Bath-DeWitt Connection Staff Reporter

DEWITT — DeWitt has a growing community, and part of that is due to their quality schools. When it comes to public schools, quality does not just entail the standard of education. The status of school facilities is just as important.

DeWitt Public Schools’ Schavey Road Elementary School, Herbison Woods School, Dewitt  Junior High, and DeWitt High School all share parking lots as well as roadways for access.

While everything is generally well-maintained, some of DeWitt Public Schools’ parking lots have developed a few areas of cracks and pot holes.

“We have taken a few calls about specific [complaints regarding the condition and/ or layout of the schools’ roadways and parking lots], but our maintenance department does a good job of patching the holes as quickly as possible,” said DeWitt Superintendent John Deiter.

IMG_6862“Traffic is very heavy during drop off and pick up times,” said Deiter. “Fortunately the junior high and high school start and dismiss earlier than the other buildings.”

IMG_6837“We have about 25 school buses that use the roads daily along with regular vehicle traffic.  There are no heavy trucks, for example, that use the roads on a regular basis,” said Deiter.

IMG_6834While the conditions of the roads are pretty rough, faculty and maintenance are not unaware of the situation, and seem to be taking the initiative to keep up with the worn roads.

IMG_6816“I think it is pretty obvious the condition of the drives and lots around the schools mentioned,” said DeWitt Public Schools Director of Maintenance and Grounds Brian Reeve. “Right now, we fill pot holes with cold patch.”

“We seal cracks and fix potholes on a proactive basis,” said Deiter. “We will do some sealing of lots as well.”

IMG_6858“We are looking to pass a new bond in 2016 or early 2017 to make major improvements to the roads and parking lots that need attention in the summer of 2017,” said Deiter.

According to a case study for DeWitt Public Schools by Plante & Moran, PLLC (PMC), similar bond funds completed in 2012 were used to renovate and upgrade seven of the district’s school buildings, construct classroom additions at an elementary school, new team building, tennis courts, track, field and concessions.

IMG_6826The renovations involved HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning)/lighting controls, new roofs, windows, interior upgrades, site improvements, and technology upgrades, as well as security access controls.

It is hard to say exactly how much money is spent toward the maintenance of the roadways and parking lots each year, because, according to Deiter, they combine all of this into general maintenance.

“The repairs have to come from our general fund,” said Deiter. “New construction and major overhauls comes from bonds.”

IMG_6830According to the same case study by PMC, to date, they have identified approximately $800,000 worth of added bond-project projects for the maintenance of DeWitt’s public schools.

“We are hopeful that our up-and-coming bond project will pass next year by the voters so we can start resurfacing those areas,” said Reeve.

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