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Gainesville school board to discuss Enota traffic

POSTED: March 13, 2008 5:00 a.m.

The Gainesville City Board of Education plans to talk Monday about how growing traffic on Enota Avenue is affecting Enota Multiple Intelligences Academy.

"We are looking at some short-term options while working with the city to complete a traffic review plan for the area," said Steven Ballowe, superintendent of the Gainesville school system.

Enota, he added, is just one of "many schools in the city and county (that) have traffic issues during certain peak times each morning and afternoon."

One city school where traffic issues are about to be eased is Centennial Arts Academy.

Gainesville plans to spend $25,000 to expand Touchdown Drive, a short road that connects Pearl Nix Parkway to Century Place, from two to four lanes.

The project will ease traffic in the student pickup and drop-off lines at Centennial.

City Manager Bryan Shuler has said crews could finish the project by the end of spring break in April with the most disruptive work during that week, when school is not in session.

Last school year, the Hall County school system built a new entrance to the drop-off/pick-up lines at Mount Vernon Elementary School.

Before that project, traffic was backing up in both directions on Jim Hood Road, which fronts the North Hall school.

Davis Middle School in South Hall is another example of where traffic backs up in the afternoon. Cars file out the school’s long driveway onto Atlanta Highway in both directions.

In other business, school officials plan to discuss a schedule for approving a budget for fiscal 2008-09, which begins July 1.

Public hearings, although not required by law, could take place between May 5 and June 2, chief financial officer Janet Allison has said.

Dennis Fordham, retired superintendent of Hall County schools, will help the Gainesville system put together the budget, as a consultant paid by Cleveland-based Pioneer Regional Educational Service Agency.

The school system is seeking his help, as well as the aid of other consultants, as it works to fix some bookkeeping problems that stem back to last fiscal year.

The school board is set to meet at 5 p.m. in its monthly work session. The meeting will take place at the district’s main office at 508 Oak St.



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