Saint Peter has approved the vacation of Lincoln Drive in front of the Middle School, a move meant to improve safety on the stretch of road between Broadway Avenue and West Grace Street.

Flowing conversion of the former High School building into the Middle School last year, 5th through 8th grade students were exiting the cafeteria on the street side during their lunch break. Closing the portion of roadway is said to provide students with a safe crossing and allow for future improvements on both sides of the street, as the district owns the property on both sides of Lincoln Drive.

Community Development Director Russ Wille says the District took the past year to monitor the transportation situation at the Middle School.

“The cars typically would come in on Broadway and drive through the school, unload, then exit off of Grace Street. In a situation like that, safety is the number one concern, efficiency is desired. So, we’re gonna try to address both of those.”

Vacating the street right-of-way will allow school officials to direct passenger vehicles to circulate within the park lots off of Broadway Avenue and West Grace Street using signage and speed bumps.

“So the only vehicles that’ll be allowed to continue the thru traffic would be school buses. In the morning for the drop-off and pickup, that’ll be restricted to the buses. So they believe that will increase the safety.”

School Officials plan to have the safety improvements made by the start of the school year.

“They are going to do those alterations that have been considered and of course reviewed by our Department of Public Works and our engineers at Bolton & Menk. They feel that this is gonna work out just fine.”

The Saint Peter School District will pay for the improvements using the remaining contingency funds from the bond request to build the new High School.