IRONTON — Who would have ever thought the eagerness of going to school could produce a traffic jam?
That is exactly what students, parents, teachers, bus drivers and administrators woke up to on Wednesday as Delaware Street was encased in gridlock as the first day of school brought the masses to both the new Ironton Elementary and Middle schools and the temporary high school as well.
The morning drop off was especially hectic as cars and buses were backed up at times all the way to the Save-A-Lot on North Second Street waiting to make the right-hand turn onto Delaware. Several students were hopping out of cars stuck in traffic to run down the tree-lined street not wanting to be tardy on their first day back.
Other drivers were making U-turns in front of oncoming traffic on North Second Street to use McPherson Avenue and Thomas Street to beat the traffic and not be late.
The afternoon pick up saw cars and buses stacked 300 yards deep as they waited to make a left-hand turn at the three-way stop at the top of Delaware Street.
It was all hands on deck to handle the traffic as well.
The morning and afternoon commutes saw school officials and Ironton Police helping patrol the school rush hour. Even Superintendent Dean Nance was out directing traffic in the morning.
Nance said that while he “knew there was going to be heavy traffic,” Wednesday probably was going to be worse than other days with parents attending kindergarten testing and the new, unfamiliar surroundings and traffic patterns of the new building.
The superintendent suggested cars needing to come down Delaware Street to drop off or pick up at the temporary high school should make a left at the access road before the old middle school and drop off on the back side of the building. The road comes out on the other side of the old middle school.
Besides traffic, Nance said Wednesday saw a few “minor snafus” but was a success nonetheless. The superintendent said there were some issues with the new lunch computer program and that a few elementary and middle schools students got on a high school bus, but “were taken care of anyway.”
“Despite some of the issues, all in all I wasn’t disappointed with today,” Nance said. “The elementary and middle school students loved the new building and loved the classrooms and the air conditioning on a day like today. The building was clean and bright.”
Nance said students at the new building were given a tour in the morning to better understand the facility