The Department of Land Use and Planning Board of New Castle County held a public hearing on Tuesday, Feb. 5 regarding the Red Clay School District elementary school that will be built in Hockessin.
With the approval of the referendum in March of last year, the school district is going to build a new K-5 elementary school on district-owned property along Graves Road. District officials said the new school should help ease over-crowding, particularly at North Star, Linden Hill and Brandywine Springs elementary schools which are over 115 percent of program capacity.
The school will be completed in 18-24 months, and will be approximately 65,000-70,000 square feet.
In general, the members of the planning board expressed the same concerns as local residents – increased traffic and the lack of sidewalks.
"The speed limit on Route 41 is 45 miles per hour and rarely is that followed," said David K. Sheppard, Planning Board Member.
Route 41 is perpendicular to Graves Road and will serve as the bus entry to the new school.
Local resident William Betley, who has lived near the school site for 27 years, said Route 41 is very dangerous: "That road has very bad truck traffic…it is also a very narrow road for a sidewalk."
Al Matlack, who lives on Millcreek Road, walks to visit his wife who lives in Windsor Place, an assisted living facility in Hockessin.
"I walk there when the temperature is above 30 degrees, but there is only about 1,000 feet of sidewalk," he said.
The board suggested that a reduced speed limit be established during the beginning and end of school days. They also advised the school's architectural firm, Becker Morgan Group, to look into the practicality of installing sidewalks.