Discussions on how best to manage traffic for the May 26 graduations for both Liberty County high schools dominated the board of education meeting Tuesday.
The topic came up when the both principals presented traffic flow plans for their ceremonies, which will be at Liberty County High School. Bradwell’s Olvey Field is being renovated.
LCHS also has ongoing construction, but it is on a second driveway off Highway 84 west of the existing drive. And P.C. Simonton consultant and project engineer Matthew Barrow said earlier the road should be complete by graduation.
On Tuesday, LCHS Principal Paula Scott’s traffic plan used both driveways in anticipation of traffic coming from both directions.
“Obviously, (the second drive) still goes out onto Highway 84, the same road that the existing driveway spills out onto, so it’s going to help, but I’m not really sure how much it’s going to help,” Scott said. “We’ll find out after graduation.”
Her plan calls for those driving from and to Hinesville to use the new driveway. Those going east toward Midway would use the existing driveway. Once on campus, crossing guards and ROTC cadets would direct traffic to parking.
“We’re stressing that graduation is a crowded event. It’s like a ballgame at UGA,” she added. “People are going to need to be patient.”
BI Principal Scott Carrier’s plan varies some to accommodate a heavy traffic to and from the west.
“We think that virtually all of our traffic is going to be coming from the Hinesville end of things,” Carrier said. “So splitting it like Liberty is doing won’t work quite as well for us … We don’t anticipate a lot of traffic coming from the Midway area.”
Motorists headed east on Highway 84 in the left lane will be asked to turn into the new entrance, while those in the right lane will turn in at the existing entrance.
To keep traffic moving after the ceremony, those who exit from the new entrance will be asked to stay in the right lane, and those who use the existing drive will be asked to stay left.
Those who wish to head east after either graduation will be able to do so from the left lane of the existing drive.
“We’re going to try to keep the traffic moving as smoothly as possible,” Carrier said. “Now we know that once we get down into town, we’re going to have a problem with the stoplight, and it will start getting backed up.”
He added that school officials will ask law enforcement to direct traffic through lights.
To try to cut down on the traffic, Bradwell graduates will be bused from their own campus to LCHS.
Carrier said parking will be at a premium. Those who wish to park close should come early.
Vice Chairman Verdell Jones, who led the meeting in the absence of Chairwoman Lily Baker, suggested the principals consult traffic experts before finalizing the plans.
Both principals said they would welcome expert advice.
The board also:
• rejected a previously approved $40,173 bid from Total Office Solutions for furnishings at the Liberty College and Career Academy due to errors. The board approved a $50,503 bid from GA Specialty Equipment for the furnishings.
• waived geography requirements for two senior transfer students to allow them to participate in graduation.
• adopted a tentative budget for fiscal year 2013. The budget is subject to change pending the outcome of state allocations and changes in personnel insurance. The final budget will be adopted June 12.