Slowing motorists goal of school officials in Hampton Township
By Bethany Hofstetter
Published: Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Finding a way to slow motorists around the Hampton Township School District buildings continues to be the focus of the school board this summer, though there are growing concerns about the cost of the proposed project.
District officials are looking at the feasibility of installing reduced speed limit school zone signs along McCully Road at the high school and replacing the signs at Poff and Wyland elementary schools, after worried parents questioned pedestrian safety along McCully Road.
Central Elementary School currently has flashing school-zone lights located along Middle Road.
The school board rejected an earlier proposal by engineers at The Gateway Engineers, Inc, of Pittsburgh, to install flashing school-zone lights at the three schools because of the $12,500 price tag for the engineering study and the added estimated cost of $18,000 per school for the purchase of the lights.
However, last week, the school board approved a second proposal by Gateway Engineers at a cost not to exceed $4,500 to determine the appropriate placement and wording for reduced speed-limit school-zone signs.
School board member Bob Shages cast the lone dissenting vote.
Shages said the $4,500 total seemed “overkill” for a study that doesn't even include the cost or installation of the signs and one the school district might be able to complete on its own.
“We have to submit to the state a drawing with distances … it surprised me it was as simple as it is,” he said.
However, Wesley Bryant, a school board member, said though the application to install the signs sounds easy, “to get approved by PennDOT, it's not always easy.”
“What PennDOT regulations say and what you need for final approval is not always the same,” Bryant said. “While $4,500 does sound a little high ... it's not a $500 job either.”
School board president David Gurwin directed Jeff Kline, director of administrative services and transportation, to negotiate with Gateway Engineers to make sure the cost total is necessary for the work the district needs to have done.
“Do we need a study to put up a sign? All we need to know is where to put it and does the sign we choose meet the state regulations,” Gurwin said. “I just want to make sure everything is absolutely necessary.”
Bethany Hofstetter is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6364 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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