May 26th, 2024

Three Catholic schools to have new student drop-off zones

By BRENDAN MILLER on May 15, 2024.

Medicine Hat Catholic Board trustees attend a board meeting Tuesday at the head office.--NEWS PHOTO BRENDAN MILLER

bmiller@medicinehatnews.com

Next school year parents with students at St. John Paul II, Mother Teresa and St. Patrick’s schools will be able to drop children off at dedicated student zones to relieve traffic congestion and make roadways safer.

In the wake of a school traffic assessment survey presented last December to trustees of the Medicine Hat Catholic Board of Education, the division on Tuesday adopted ‘kiss and go’ drop-off zones. They will be operational in the morning and afternoon and will be located in front of each school and will not interfere with school bus traffic.

The board adopted the name ‘kiss and go’ as they are meant for parents to use for a quick drop-off at school then moving on to allow the next parent to pull in.

“(It’s) for parents to come, drop off their students and then depart,” says Greg MacPherson, secretary treasurer. “So it’s not meant to be parking or going in and visiting the student, it’s meant for very short-term use.”

Drop-off zones at Mother Teresa and St. Patrick’s will be open from 8-9 a.m. and from 3-4 p.m., however the drop-off at St. John Paul II will only be in operation from 8-9 a.m. to avoid interfering with school bus parking.

“It’ll help parents find parking and allow their students to get into the school safely,” says MacPherson.

The school board worked with the city and Southland Transportation to identify appropriate zoning and install signage in front of each school.

Trustees say school administrators are in the process of commuting information regarding the new drop-off zones to parents and hope to have all details released by June.

Police will also be involved by providing motorists information on the new zones at the beginning of the 2024-25 school year.

“I think we are going to not only see a safety improvement, but a convenience improvement for parents as well,” says MacPherson.

Irrigation

MHCBE will join in voluntarily reducing water consumption by 10 per cent this summer as it plans to reduce the frequency and length of times parks and fields on its properties are irrigated.

In April, Medicine Hat joined a water-sharing agreement with the province with the goal to reduce water usage by 10 per cent as summer drought conditions threaten to set it.

Currently the city is in phase one of its four-phase Water Conservation Plan, which means measures are voluntary, however the board says it has a plan in place if conditions become extremely dry and mandatory water restrictions are enforced.

“We set up a schedule that compares what our current water schedule is and then looking at what a 10 per cent reduction or a 20 per cent reduction would look like,” says MacPherson. “It’s a combination of adjusting the number of days as well as minutes of watering per week.”

This would include Monsignor McCoy’s large football field, Notre Dame’s soccer field and the playground area at Mother Teresa.

“So we’re balancing the need to be responsible within the community about water usage,” says MacPherson. “But also ensuring these fields are usable for students, both in the extracurricular environment, as well as for their program of studies.”

MacPherson says green spaces and fields are also used by residents and the board wants to ensure they are still available throughout the summer season.

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