Parking issue to be resolved at Nation Ford, but it could take months

jmarks@fortmilltimes.comSeptember 21, 2012 

— A solution is coming for problems out front of Nation Ford High School, but not immediately.

Of most concern is a gravel parking lot between the school and main entrance.

Currently, the band practices on a smaller field between the parking lot and Springfield Parkway. The larger, paved lot would allow practices on a space at least as large as a football field, which would help in preparation for competitions and halftime performances. The space also would be available for other activities, such as JROTC training, Law said.

“I believe there is some sort of resolution coming,” said Theresa Law, vice president of the school’s band booster club. “I hope it will be sooner rather than later.”

Principal Beverley Bowman said the district “encountered some issues” with its contractor and the parking lot project, along with a new multi-purpose band room, have been stalled.

“This unexpected turn of events has greatly impacted us as a school as well,” she said. “We’d hoped all projects – the multipurpose band room, multi-purpose paved pad, curbing and erosion control – would have been completed by now.”

It could be as late as December before the work is done. Bowman called the unfinished work a “major eye sore,” but also a problem because it’s “resulting in overuse of our two practice fields (one for band and one for football), daily facilities usage conflicts and continued erosion of our school grounds.”

Nation Ford opened in 2007 and since has had numerous improvements from the stadium that opened in 2009 to a third classroom wing, auxiliary gym and lower athletic field upgrades.

The district’s 10-year facility needs plan was updated last year. It listed needs of a multi-purpose room, JROTC building, curb and gutter work, irrigation and an athletic field at Sugar Creek Elementary in addition to a 230-car parking lot.

Groups wanting to use the new paved space, which will double as overflow parking for large events like football games, are happy the district is working to make it what they want.

“The district is continuing to work with the contractors on the parking situation so we are all good for the time being,” said Debbie Taylor, president of Nation Ford Athletic Booster Club.

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