EXETER — Students and parents traveling to Wyoming Area Secondary Center and the Wyoming Area Kindergarten Center for the first day of school Wednesday can breathe a sigh of relief.
An “all-call” from the district to parents Tuesday indicated Exeter Borough will hold off on the change of limiting traffic on streets around the schools to one way and keep traffic on the streets two ways, according to Superintendent Janet Serino.
The Exeter Borough and the Exeter Police Department had notified district students, parents and surrounding houses and businesses last Thursday that Memorial Street in front of the secondary center and Penn Avenue in front of the kindergarten center would be changed to one-way streets.
Memorial Street would be a one-way street traveling from Lincoln Street to Erie Street, while Penn Avenue would be one way from Memorial Street to Susquehanna Avenue.
Exeter Council member Joe Pizano, who is also the Wyoming Area athletic director, said he was unaware of the official changes until he received the all-call on Sept. 1. Pizano said the change doesn’t make much sense, especially when other buses or trucks need to access the building.
Pizano said the idea was discussed earlier in the summer without all council members present, but no decision was made. Exeter Mayor Herman Castellani, Wyoming Area Superintendent Janet Serino, Exeter Borough police and two members of council were present for a meeting on July 1 where the decision was discussed, he said.
At that meeting, Serino said, the district was under the assumption the borough was conducting a study and was not going to officially announce the one-way streets. Now, she said, everyone is on the same page.
“We think the idea of waiting and watching and seeing how our traffic flows because of the changes is most important,” she said. “The borough has agreed that if they do decide to do this, that it would notify people ahead of time.”
The group met again Tuesday morning to further discuss the situation and decided to hold off on the decision. Castellani said the one-way signs that have been installed on the streets will be covered for 30 days “until we get the bugs out.” There’s no word whether the one-way streets will take hold once that 30 days passes.
The initial meeting between the school and the borough was held to discuss how closing Sarah J. Dymond Elementary School would affect traffic near the new kindergarten center, the former JFK Elementary School. According to Serino, only three buses would drop off students there.
According to the Wyoming Area School District website, along with flyers distributed to local businesses and homeowners, the streets would be changed on Sept. 5. Street department workers were seen Friday installing one-way signs in front of the school.
The original plan was for these traffic patterns to be reviewed over a 90-day period before their final adoption. Castellani said the kindergarten center will hold between 160 and 170 students. Because of the amount of students, Wyoming Area would staff more crossing guards for the first days of school, he said.
“This is just us trying to work best with the community,” Serino said. “That’s what we want. I believe we all left here (Tuesday) satisfied.”
Serino said the school will monitor the traffic closely the first several weeks of school to see how it can be adjusted.
Reach Nick Wagner at 570-991-6406 or on Twitter @Dispatch_Nick