Less than a month ahead of the planned groundbreaking for the reconstruction of Upper Arlington High School, new parking restrictions are being implemented for students, visitors and residents living close to the school.
Upper Arlington Schools officials have planned a groundbreaking ceremony at 4 p.m. April 7 at UAHS, 1650 Ridgeview Road, to kick off a project to build a new school and athletics facilities.
That project also will launch the district's $230 million plan to rebuild or renovate five elementary buildings over the next three years. All the projects are being funded by a 5.17-mill bond voters approved last November.
Ahead of the work, some new parking restrictions went into effect March 11 and all are expected to be fully in effect by Monday, March 18, at and around UAHS. The changes are designed to provide contractors safe access to the construction site.
According to district chief operating officer Chris Potts, 120 student spaces in parking lots nearest to the school's baseball and softball fields were eliminated starting March 11 and will be unavailable until fall 2021.
Another 90 spaces on Brandon and Mt. Holyoke roads will be restricted.
On Mt. Holyoke, no parking will be permitted on either side of the street from roughly the UAHS tennis courts or anywhere north on the road to its intersection with Zollinger Road. The restrictions went into effect March 11 and will last until approximately August.
On Brandon, parking will be prohibited on both sides of the street from the edge of a school parking lot near the intersection of the street with Ridgeview Road, and going northward until Brandon intersects with Zollinger. Those restrictions will remain in place until fall 2021. To make up for the lost spaces, the district has worked out an agreement with Kroger Co., which owns the Macy's building at Kingsdale Center. Students will be able to park at that lot and walk to UAHS.
"We don't have plans for a shuttle at this point," Potts said. "We will monitor the use of this lot and adapt as needed."
Potts said district officials are encouraging students to carpool to and from school and school events.
"Carpooling reduces the number of cars in the parking lots and on the streets around the high school," he said. "This allows a larger number of students to be accommodated by available parking and decreases traffic on residential streets for our neighbors."
In addition to the restrictions for students, the district and the city of Upper Arlington are prohibiting construction contractors from parking on Northwest Boulevard, North Star Road or on Zollinger, Brandon and Mt. Holyoke roads.
Officials hope those limits will reduce burdens on neighboring residents.
"There will be no contractor parking on any side streets around the high school," Potts said. "Ruscilli (Construction Co.) has secured off-site parking in area lots for its contractors."
In January, Superintendent Paul Imhoff said the district and city would develop a parking plan aimed at having the least impact on area residents and students.
But he acknowledged there would be some inconveniences.
"I wish I could make this seamless and easy," he said. "It's going to be difficult. We're all going to have to sacrifice up front."
Potts said new parking areas likely are to be established as the new high school and athletics facilities are built.
He said the city would work with residents in an effort to create new spaces with safety and logistics in mind.
"The city is going to work closely with the residents of each street and neighborhood to gather consensus before any permanent parking restriction decisions are made," Potts said.