Second driveway for school property to be built
By the start of the 2009-10 school year, there should be a second driveway to access the Somerset School District grounds.
The Somerset Board of Education has begun the process to have a second driveway constructed on school district property.
This driveway would come in from the western edge of the property, from the Somerset Meadows development, which was built on the site of the old waterslide.
In its January meeting, the school board hired Cedar Corp. to draw up specs for the driveway and oversee the project. Cedar Corp. has been the architect for the Village of Somerset on many of its street projects.
"It seemed like a natural fit," said Somerset School District Superintendent Randy Rosburg.
Rosburg said a final design for the street is expected for the March school board meeting. The plan is to have contractors selected in the April board meeting, with construction beginning in May. The street is expected to be completed in August, before the start of the 2009-10 school year.
The street will be a two-lane street. Rosburg said it will 22 to 24 feet wide. There will be a 10-foot paved walking/bike trail running the full length of the street. Lights will also be installed the length of the street.
Rosburg said he expects the final cost of the project to end up between $250,000 to $300,000. Part of this cost will be offset by the district's ability to drop one school bus route. There are currently 1.5 bus routes needed to transport all of the students from the Somerset Meadows development. With this street in place, most of those students will be able to walk to school, allowing the drop.
The driveway will junction with Martell Street in the Somerset Meadows development.
When the school district purchased 79 acres from the DeCosse family in 2007, 39 acres of the property were within the Somerset Village limits and 40 acres were in Somerset Township.
After consulting with village and township officials, the Somerset Board of Education has voted to annex the 40 acres that were in the township into the Village of Somerset.
The school district has worked with the village, township and state through the preliminary stages of the annexation. Completion of the process is expected to be done in May.
With the completion of the annexation, all of the school property will lie within village limits. By doing this the school district will have only one set of codes or other processes to deal with.
"There is no tax advantage, no costs," said Rosburg.
The contract with Safe-Way Bus Co. to provide the bus services for the school district was extended for another year.
Currently, the district is under a three-year contract with Safe-Way with the 2008-09 school year being the final year. The contract gives the district the option of adding two additional one-year terms to the contract. The board approved adding a fourth year to the contract.
Rosburg said there are no changes in the terms of the contract. There was a price increase, because school transportation costs are reflective of the Consumer Price Index.
-- Teacher Tim White was inducted into the district's Ring of Honor for serving 25 years in the district.
-- The board accepted a $1,000 donation from John Doar intended for the middle school library.
-- The board accepted a $1,650 donation from football coach Bruce Larson to be dispersed among volunteer assistant football coaches Chet Banger, Dave Rivard and Joe Hutter. The money was raised through team fund-raisers.