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Mornings for students, parents and middle school officials just got a little less hectic this week, as the “bus loop” at the Los Alamos Middle School became open for business.
Los Alamos Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Gene Schmidt said he was there the day the loop opened, because he didn’t want to miss it.
“It was a very special moment for us, I’m very proud of what we accomplished,”
Schmidt said, adding that it was one of many planned improvements to the infrastructure of the Los Alamos School District.
“What we’re trying to do whenever possible is separate parent drop-offs, student/pedestrian walks and bus drop-offs,” Schmidt said.
Not only will it increase safety, Schmidt said, but having a dedicated pick-up and drop-off area for buses will cut down on the confusion at peak parking times. “It avoids a lot of confusion in terms of right-of-way, when you have cars coming in, buses coming in, staff and kids walking through, it does a nice job of organizing the traffic flow pattern,” Schmidt said.
Now that the bus loop is open, parents and pedestrians will have their own entrance to the school while the 13 buses used to transport students from Los Alamos and White Rock will have their own drop-off site from Hawk Drive.
According to middle school Principal Rex Kilburn, buses will now enter the school by following San Ildefonso Road to Hawk Drive, “right into the bus loop.” Kilburn also emphasized that other parking improvements will be happening soon.
“We’re going to continue with the parent/student drop off in the same pattern and location as we currently have it, but we are not going to open up Hawk Drive along the east side of the portable classrooms because there’s more work to be done,” Kilburn said. “In the final plan there is a parking lot extension that goes toward the east and we’re going to be starting prep work for that soon.”
Some parents were unaware of the change, but when told about it, liked the idea.
“Pretty slick!” said Duane Farley, who showed up early to pick up his kids.
According to Michael Aguilar another dad waiting to pick up his kids, it has made a difference.
“It has made dropping off my kids easier in the morning,” Aguilar said.