School Expansion Creates Traffic Concerns for Woodbrook Residents

Woodbrook residents and others meet with school officials.
Increased traffic was the main concern for Woodbrook residents at a meeting with Albemarle County officials at Woodbrook Elementary School on Tuesday. Over a hundred people, including many Woodbrook residents, attended the meeting.

The September 6, 2016, meeting was held in the school’s gymnasium and focused on the County’s expansion plans for the school. The meeting was chaired by Dean Tistadt, Albemarle County Public Schools Chief Operating Officer, and Rosalyn Schmitt, Assistant Director of Facilities Planning. Jack Clark from RRMM Architects, the site architects for the project, also spoke at the meeting.

The presentation can be viewed in its entirety here. Readers might find it helpful to view this document while listening to the accompanying meeting audio.

Woodbrook resident Susan Reed expressed the concerns of many neighbors regarding increased traffic in the neighborhood. “You will completely change the character of the neighborhood if you open up another entrance [road],” said Reed. “I’m pretty sure you guys are going to want to do that if you increase the size [of the school],” she added.

Tistadt said that a traffic study has not yet been completed for the site, adding that he didn’t see the need for one. Several Woodbrook residents asked that a traffic study be completed as a part of site planning.

Other issues for Woodbrook residents included drainage and the visual impact of the new school. Woodbrook resident Dick Mathias asked about site drainage. “We’re going to need to deal with the drainage there. That’s one thing we’ve talked about with the county today,” said Tistadt. Woodbrook resident Audrey Kocher asked for a softer look to the “business end” of the school which faces her property. Resident Rose Mary Ratesic would like to see the current green space preserved.

Not everyone at the meeting was opposed to the project. A Greer Elementary School teacher said, “I’d love for you to see what the renovations have done for my children [at Greer]. Both of my children also happen to be in the new wing for Kindergarten with big huge beautiful windows and brightly colored fresh paint. What that does for children and what that does for teachers is huge,” she said.

One thought on “School Expansion Creates Traffic Concerns for Woodbrook Residents

  1. How can they proceed with the project without completing a traffic study – with and without a new entrance road to Woodbrook. Easy for Dean Tistadt to say,"…..he didn't see the need for one." What does he know about site planning – access/egress for buses, parking requirements, etc.

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