What’s the build up, Central?

Construction at the field, bus driver shortage affects traffic and lot


Alyssa Weisenberg

Traffic into the Parkway Central High School parking lot on a weekday morning at 7:20. Photo by Alyssa Weisenberg.

Alyssa Weisenberg, Staff Reporter

Sarah Hirsch (12) has been driving herself to school since last year. But this school year, her after school routine has changed, for the worse.  

Traffic into the Parkway Central High School parking lot on a weekday morning at 7:20. Photo by Alyssa Weisenberg. (Tim McCarthy)

“I feel like I have to wait in the parking lot for 20 minutes just to get out of school,” Hirsch said. “That’s really annoying. And usually how it was in the past years I would get out of the parking lot in a good 10 minutes, but now I have to wait like a good 25 minutes.”  

Due to the construction, Hirsch and the rest of the school have found themselves slightly adjusting the schedule to work around the traffic. Long lines of cars are on both ends of North Woods Mill Road from the high school. It has also slightly changed for students who play sports. For Hirsch, who is a part of the girls diving team, practices gymnastics and works coaching kids, that means having less time to change into her work clothes before her shift begins.  

“And usually how it was in the past years I would  get a parking lot and the good 10 minutes, but now I have  to wait like a good 25 minutes, 20 minutes just to get out  of school and I work on Mondays, and I start work at 3:30,  and so I get home at like 3 p.m. and I have to two minutes  to get ready for that,” Hirsch said. 

Hirsch wonders why the construction hasn’t started  sooner as this is a large project and she thinks the timing  is off because the construction probably won’t be done in  time for the fall teams to use it.  

“I think it’ll be good for people coming to the football  games and stuff, but my thing is will it be done by the  time football season is over. And if it’s not, then it makes  no sense to have it there this year,” she said.  

 The construction was actually planned for earlier,  but has been postponed multiple times for COVID-19 and  other reasons. John Theobald, athletics and activities  director, knows that the construction is inconvenient but  the construction was meant to begin earlier.  

“The challenges of working during this pandemic  have been no different for me than the rest of our faculty  and staff,” Theobald said. “The key is to be able to adjust  quickly and adapt with the changes that can happen  with great frequency and quite quickly. The start of this  project was delayed multiple times for reasons both  related to and not related to the pandemic.”  

As a result of the multiple delays the construction is  scheduled to finish after the football season is over.  “I’ve been told that it should be completed after the  first of the year, so we still have a ways to go,” Theobald  said. 

Despite the backed up traffic, the construction is  expected to bring a lot of new and positive features. The  whole school is waiting impatiently for the end of the  construction; Theobald included. Theobald also mentioned that in addition to the bathrooms and water accessibility, the main reason for the construction is safety  in and out of the stadium.  

“There are too many benefits to list, but some of the main ones are the ability to enclose the stadium, which allows us to safely control the movement of spectators during events at the stadium in a safe manner. It also will provide more viable restroom access for all.”

These changes have been needed for a while  and according to Theobald, anyone can tell you  that.  

“Anyone who has attended an event at our stadium, regardless of the sport or activity, would tell  you these changes have been needed for a while,”  Theobald said.  

A few of the athletes who play in the stadium are looking forward to the new changes. The  addition of bathrooms and water positioned by the  stadium are, so far, the most popular addition.  

Football player Keilan Carter (11) shares his experiences without having bathrooms from the past.  “It’s been through multiple games like you’re  just not able to go because it’s like running to the  main building and maybe miss out on something  that you need to do or hold it and do what you have  to and not be in a very good state of mind,” Carter  said.  

He isn’t the only athlete excited about this.  Gabby Spicuzza (11), a field hockey and soccer play er, has also been looking forward to these changes. 

“I’m really excited about everything that’s happening to the field and it’ll make playing and  watching games more convenient. Usually, if you  needed the restroom or water, you would have to  walk back into the school, but with these changes,  it’ll improve playing and watching games,” Spicuzza  said.  

Although the stadium is causing a bit of a  hassle now, Theobald finds that most people don’t  mind.  

“People have adapted to the new logistics  with getting in and out of the stadium and aren’t  focusing on the construction, but instead seem  happy and joyous to be able to attend a game and seem happy and joyous to be able to attend a game and root on their children, classmates, and friends. It’s been a rewarding start to the fall season and will only get better once this project is complete. I’m looking forward toseeing the final product.”