To view the most current information regarding the East Avenue closure, please follow the What's New? link to the left, or visit the Long-Range/Strategic Planning Committee's web site under the School Board section at the top of the page.
At the March 10, 2008 school board meeting, possible solutions were presented related the permanent closure or re-opening of the 1800 block of East Avenue, in front of Jefferson School for the Arts. Two general areas were discussed; (1) a two-phase plan of development should East Avenue be closed permanently and (2) signage, parking restrictions, and student release plans should East Avenue be re-opened. The school board will vote on this item at the March 24, 2008 board meeting which is being held at P. J. Jacobs Junior High School beginning at 7 p.m.
Historical Timeline of Events:
• 1999: Purchased three lots adjacent to East Avenue to address student safety, parking and traffic congestion
• September 1999: Traffic study conducted on East Avenue
• January 2001: District requests creation of a pedestrian mall
• February 2001: Common Council approves pedestrian mall (signed by mayor)
• March 2001: East Avenue project put on hold pending district long-term planning issues
• April 23, 2006: School board met at Jefferson School for the Arts-East Avenue discussion
• August 15, 2007: East Avenue study group formed to gather information for the school board
• September 10, 2007: School board votes to implement temporary closure and traffic study
• October 1, 2007: Temporary barricades put in place by the city
• October 16, 2007: Public forum conducted by Alderperson Amy Heart
• November 1, 2007 through February 29, 2008: Traffic study survey
• January 30, 2008: East Avenue study group met to discuss preliminary plans and survey
• February 20, 2008: East Avenue group reviewed surveys and preliminary plans
• February 20, 2008: Public forum held
• March 10, 2008: Information presented to school board
Permanent Closure of East Avenue Option: Phase One and Two
If the decision is made by the school board to permanently close East Avenue the following structural changes are recommended:
Phase One (Attachment: Phase One Map) of this change to the grounds would include:
1. Permanent curbs extending in an East/West direction across East Avenue, connecting existing city sidewalks (Attachment: Phase One Map-Number 1).
2. Construction of four time restricted parking spaces for parents/visitors on the Northeast corner of Jefferson Street and East Avenue (Attachment: Phase One Map-Number 2).
3. Creation of 17 parking spaces for school staff on the existing hard surface playground to decrease neighborhood-parking pressure (Attachment: Phase One Map-Number 3).
4. Increase of the width of the sidewalk in front of the school to 10 feet (double of existing width) and widen the sidewalk along Oak Street to cover the terrace (Attachment: Phase One Map-Number 4).
5. Removal of the street and replacement with fill, dirt, grass, and irrigation of this space to adjoin it to the lots across from the front of the school (Attachment: Phase One Map-Number 5).
6. Addition of appropriate fencing, gates, and lighting.
The general cost of phase one of this project is approximately $124,000. The City of Stevens Point has pledged to help with this effort and do the bulk of work related to city projects like the curbing, removal of the street, and supplying dirt for fill. The city's portion of the total phase one cost is approximately $26,000.
Phase Two (Attachment: Preferred Concept Plan Map) of the project would include:
1. Increasing the number of parking spaces from 17 to 32 (Attachment: Preferred Concept Plan-Number 1) by moving the outdoor classroom space to the areas adjacent to the kindergarten wing of the building (Attachment: Preferred Concept Plan-Number 1a).
2. Moving the playground equipment to the front of the building at the Southeast corner of East Avenue and Oak Street (Attachment: Preferred Concept Plan-Number 2).
The general cost of phase two of this project to the school district would be approximately $104,000.
Note: After Phase one and continuing through Phase two playground spaces would exist; one grass area in front of the school, and the second on the hard surface in the back. Both areas would be utilized as play space, either separately or at the same time, depending on the situation. Both play spaces can be used simultaneously, and will be supervised.
Re-Opening of East Avenue
If the school board exercises the option to re-open East Avenue, a plan would be developed based upon the Stevens Point Police Department's recommendation related to signage, restricted parking practices, and drop off and pick up procedures to maintain student safety. The cost of these options are to be determined.