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Medina

Buses, drivers leave early for school as Guilford project continues

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    Hundreds of children and their parents wait outside Heritage School Monday morning for the start of the 2018-19 school year. Heritage was not affected greatly by the closing of Guilford Boulevard.

    BOB FINNAN / GAZETTE

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    Twins Isabella, left, and Sophia Hilberg, 6, pose for a picture with their father, Brian, on the first day of first grade at Heritage Elementary School in Medina. Hillberg is a former Ward 1 Council member.

    BOB FINNAN / GAZETTE

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23475360-1

Hundreds of children and their parents wait outside Heritage School Monday morning for the start of the 2018-19 school year. Heritage was not affected greatly by the closing of Guilford Boulevard.

BOB FINNAN / GAZETTE Enlarge

MEDINA — Police directed traffic at busy intersections Monday as school buses rumbled along city streets on the first day of school.

There were traffic backups in several areas around Medina amid construction projects, authorities said, and police were out at Wadsworth Road and South Broadway Street, and South Broadway Street and East Smith Road.

Because of the construction projects — bridge and culvert replacement over Champion Creek on Guilford Boulevard, U.S. Route 42/North Court Street widening, and East Smith Road reconstruction work between South Broadway and South Court streets — the district moved 11 bus routes up 15 minutes.

“I’m happy to say we didn’t have any major issues,” Medina Schools Superintendent Aaron Sable said at Monday’s board of education meeting. “We had all the students in the buildings on time.”

Transportation Director Rob Travis used a shuttle bus to pick up some stragglers to get them to school, the superintendent said.

“We are rolling with the punches,” Sable said. “We appreciate the communication with the city.”

For students who drove to school Monday, their day began well before sunrise.

Ursula DeCesare, the mother of a high school junior, said her daughter, Isabella, left the house at 6:15 to get to the high school on time for the 7:30 a.m. start.

“She had to get up at 5:30 (a.m.),” DeCesare said. “I really hope (Guilford) will open soon.”

The Guilford project began June 6 just south of East Smith Road and was scheduled to be completed in 63 days by Fabrizi Trucking & Paving Co. of Middleburg Heights. The company has cited rain for delaying the $833,000 project.

DeCesare said she took pictures of the construction site and posted them on Facebook, asking people to be conscientious drivers.

“This is Isabella’s first year driving to school,” she said.

“I feel sorry for the bus drivers.”

Crews worked over the weekend on the Guilford project to try to get one lane open by 8 tonight, city Engineer Patrick Patton said.

Just getting that one artery open should be a “big help,” he said. “It will be a bigger help when the road is open.”

He visited the site Monday and said he doesn’t see why one lane shouldn’t be open tonight.

The street will close again Aug. 31, however, for four days for final pavement installation. It is scheduled to be open to both lanes of traffic the morning of Sept. 4.

South of the bridge project Monday morning, Sable visited Heritage Elementary, 833 Guilford Blvd., his third stop on making the rounds to all the district schools on the first day of classes.

He termed the closing of Guilford as “nothing major.” He said it’s a bigger issue for the high school and Claggett Middle School than for Heritage.

Most Heritage students either walk or are driven to school, a district spokeswoman previously said.

“Hopefully, we’ll be done with this by Labor Day,” Sable said at the board meeting.

Contact reporter Bob Finnan at (330) 721-4049 or rfinnan@medina-gazette.com.


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