Saint Peter School Officials are proposing a plan to improve safety at the Middle School that would close off Lincoln Drive to through traffic.

Issues have surfaced this school year with now 5th through 8th grade students at the middle school and students are exiting the cafeteria on the street side during their lunch break. Officials hope closing a portion of the road would provide students with a safe crossing and an opportunity to make further improvements, as the district owns land on both sides of the street.

The proposal would block off the road starting on the north and south end of the school, between Broadway Avenue and West Grace Street. Parking lots on both ends of the school would be utilized as drop off and turn-around areas. A second phase of the project would create a loop on the north end for a natural drop off, but still maintain a fire lane.

Superintendent Paul Peterson says they plan to have the safety issue corrected before the start of the next school year.

“We need to make sure that we don’t have cars going in and out of there while kids are taking their lunch break. So phase one has gotta be done by Labor Day. But, we think that phase two, with good planning and some really good questions will probably will help us finesse our plans just a little bit. We’ll bring those back to the city and to our facilities committee. Then hopefully those plans can get going next spring and the summer of 2019.”

City Administrator Todd Prafke says the school district has to determine what makes sense for the students, but City is focused on three goals for the project.

“Make sure that emergency services can get to that front door, make sure that the water main doesn’t get disturbed and make sure certainly at Broadway and Grace, both the north and the south end of the project, that the traffic pattern makes sense going into the future. So we can do that and work on that together with them.”

School Officials plan to use remaining contingency funds from the bond request to build the new High School.