October 25, 2014

Elyria
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Midview Schools bus drivers navigate state Route 57 obstacle

Midview Schools officials say the construction on Route 57 did not cause major problems for the district's buses on the first day of school. CHRONICLE FILE PHOTO

Midview Schools officials say the construction on state Route 57 did not cause major problems for the district’s buses on the first day of school. CHRONICLE FILE PHOTO

GRAFTON — Despite headaches and frustration by drivers in the village contending with congestion posed by the state Route 57 construction, roadwork did not cause any major issues for Midview Schools buses on the first day of classes.

Midview Superintendent Scott Goggin said things went smoothly for the district’s 27 buses in getting about 2,000 kindergarten through eighth-graders to and from school Monday morning and afternoon.

“All our buses save one ran on time this morning,” Goggin said. “We only had one late bus, and that had nothing to do with the construction. It had a radiator problem.”

Goggin credited the planning of Lisa Gilchrist, district transportation supervisor, with the good start to the school year in terms of transporting students.

“She was able to adjust some of the routes to limit problems,” Coggin said.

Gilchrist made adjustments in approximately five to six bus routes, including two to three that would normally call for students to be picked up or dropped off on Route 57, according to Goggin.

Students in fifth through eighth grade are picked up during the first run of buses in the morning, which generally begins at 6:30 a.m. and runs to 7:30 a.m.

Those in kindergarten through fourth grade are then picked up and driven to school during the second bus run, which goes from 7:45 to 8:30 a.m.

Afternoon bus runs follow the same grade schedule starting at 2:30 p.m. for students in fifth through eighth grades. Younger students are picked up at the schools about 3:30 p.m., Goggin said.

The district provides no transportation for high school students.

“The afternoon run went fine, too,” Goggin said. “We had some delays, but they were due more to kids getting on (unfamiliar) buses this year rather than any issues with the construction.”

Goggin said that while the school system has no rule against buses traveling on Route 57, they are generally trying to avoid it.

“When you consider how large our district is geographically, 165 square miles, and put the Route 57 construction in perspective to the size of the entire district, it only impacts a small part of our bus routes,” he said.

Now that classes are underway, school officials may take another look at bus routes to determine whether any changes might put buses on wider roads that would allow them to make safer turns, Goggin said.

He cited a particularly thorny school bus route turn that has to be made at an apartment complex along Route 57.

“Our buses are wider vehicles, and we may do some re-routing to find more conducive ways of going as some turns are harder to make,” he said.

Contact Steve Fogarty at 329-7146 or sfogarty@chroniclet.com.