Traffic continues to be an issue as students arrive at and leave Model High School campus, and the school system is betting on some growth in that area.
In order to alleviate the congestion, the school system is planning to construct an additional exit from the campus onto Mango Road — to ease the traffic flow on Calhoun Road and Barron Road.
Despite a trend showing declining student populations, Floyd County Schools Facilities Manager Jack Gardner believes the Model district will see some growth as the widening of Ga. 140 brings the possibility of industrial expansion in the area.
“Possible residential growth is also expected as it becomes a commuter community for Bartow County,” Gardner said.
Superintendent Glenn White said the Model district has also attracted students from other county districts — such as Coosa and Armuchee.
“That ties into our traffic issue at Model High, Model Middle and Model Elementary,” he said. “Those parents are transporting those kids to those schools, including Johnson, and that’s why we have huge traffic issues around there in the afternoon.”
Buses often struggle leaving the parking lots of the schools during the late afternoon as well.
The new exit will be funded by 2017 education local option sales tax revenue and is estimated to cost between $400,000 and $500,000.
White met recently with County Manager Jamie McCord, who agreed to help cover portions of the project, including paving.
The superintendent hopes to start working on it this summer and have it ready by August. Before work can start they need to procure approval from a gas company whose line runs between the middle and high schools.
The school system is also considering replacing the roof at Model Elementary School, which is one of the oldest in the school system. They are also going to replace the HVAC system.
That plan isn’t finalized yet but the school system expects the roof replacement to come in the next five years. The project would be paid for through capital outlay funding from the state’s education department as well as money from the school system’s general fund.