Last Monday evening’s school board meeting included many new faces, with new members Tim Lewis, Larry Sorensen and Carol Steffens replacing former members Jeff Lindquist, Jennifer Peyerl and Gayle Weber. Among the agenda items the new board took up was a measure to enhance pedestrian safety at three of the district’s schools.
The school board approved adding a pedestrian-activated crossing sign on Frankfort Parkway, across from the entrance to Big Woods Elementary School. The cost is $9,000, split evenly between the city of St. Michael and the school district. The city council approved the measure the following evening, Jan. 8, at their first council meeting of the year, which included new councilmembers Ryan Gleason and Joe Hagerty. This rapid flash beacon crosswalk warning system advertises an 80 percent improvement in yield-to-pedestrian traffic compared with traditional crosswalks.
The school board and city council also approved adding three solar-powered dynamic speed signs near two schools: one on Naber Ave. near Middle School East, and two near St. Michael Elementary, on both east and westbound County Rd. 35. These will cost about $15,000 for all three signs, with the half the cost being paid by Wright County, one-quarter by the school district and one-quarter by the city. These signs will be the same as one currently placed on Jamison Ave. near STMA High School.
“There might be some minimal installation and maintenance costs, but overall we’re getting a good deal here,” said Superintendent Dr. Ann-Marie Foucault.
“This will keep our kids safer; I think it’s a no-brainer,” board member Hollee Saville said.
Foucault said similar safety upgrades will be forthcoming for Main Ave. near Albertville Primary, as she is currently in contact with Albertville’s city administrator. Foucault she expects to bring those plans to the board at their Jan. 22 meeting.