Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Northwest Location for School Opposed

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Northwest Location for School Opposed

Article excerpt

Some northwest St. Johns County residents don't want a high

school near Switzerland Point Middle School on Greenbriar Road

because of traffic and safety concerns.

Since October, a nine-member school site selection committee

appointed by the St. Johns County School Board, has been

searching the northwest for high school sites.

A committee in the northeast is doing the same.

Ultimately, the School Board will decide whether to build a new

high school in the northwest or northeast. Thus, the two

regions, in essence, are competing to come up with the best site

in order to get a new high school, slated to open in 2000.

The area not selected will be served by existing Nease High

School. Currently, Nease serves both regions and is overcrowded.

The northwest committee has found seven sites, recently made

public. The best are near Switzerland Point because it is

closest to the students who would attend the high school,

committee members said.

But at a committee meeting Monday night at Switzerland Point,

30 residents showed up, many saying they oppose the traffic and

safety risks a high school would bring.

The committee will hold a public hearing Jan. 22 at 7 p.m. at

Switzerland Point, 777 Greenbriar Road.

A formal recommendation from the committee is expected to go

before the School Board in March, said David Toner, the

district's director of operations.

The School Board has final say and will also hold a public

hearing on the issue before a vote is taken, Toner said.

"There's no lock-in until the final public hearing," Toner

said.

At Monday's meeting, Greenbriar Road residents said they don't

want more traffic on top of existing congestion on their road.

Greenbriar Road is a two-lane road off Florida 13. Because

there is no turn lane for Greenbriar Road off Florida 13,

residents said they are often tied up 15 minutes each day or an

hour at the intersection or on Greenbriar when there's a school

function going on at Switzerland Point. …

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