If you drive on North 10th Street in Williamsburg, then pay attention. Starting next month, a portion of the street will be closed daily while Williamsburg Independent School is in session.
During its monthly meeting Monday, the Williamsburg City Council unanimously voted to close N. 10th Street from Main Street to Sycamore Street from the hours of 7:30 a.m. – 3:15 p.m. whenever school is in session.
The closure isn’t permanent and will last until renovation and remodeling work on the school has been completed, which is expected to take at least one year.
To accommodate the construction, seven classrooms will be moving to Main Street Baptist Church for the entirety of the next school year.
“That is for the safety of the kids walking back and forth,” Mayor Roddy Harrison noted.
Councilman Loren Connell, who also works as an administrator at the school, said school officials tried to come up with a way of doing this without shutting down the street, but that the “safest alternative” was just to close down the street.
“The corner there at Sycamore and 10th, a lot of people cut that corner way to close. They won’t go down to the actual intersection. They cut into the church’s parking places and stuff like that,” Connell explained. “There have been instances where administrators, including myself, have been over at the church and be walking back and would watch people pull in and cut that curb too close and it scared us, them doing that.”
Connell said that the school will buy saw horses or some other barrier to place in the roadway.
School officials estimate that students will cross the street 1,000 times or more each day with 180 crossing in the morning, 180 crossing in the afternoon, 180 crossing to go to lunch, 180 crossing to go back after lunch, in addition to students moving back and forth each period for classes.
Connell added that if school isn’t in session, then there won’t be any road closure.
Connell said that school officials will notify people about the closure on social media, put it on the school marquee and through various other means.
The first day of classes for students at Williamsburg Independent School is set for Aug. 21.