Location, Location, Location

I wouldn't say the site of McCormick Middle School is perfect, but it isn't bad.  Though the OSFC report gives McCormick's site just 40 out of 100 points on their 2008 assessment (revised from an earlier 2006 assessment), an OSFC assessment from 2002 gave the site 128 out of 200, or an equivalent 64 out of 100 points.  One issue noted, the proximity of Courtland Street to the playground has been corrected with the repaving of the street.  Another problematic issue, bus and vehicular traffic moving on the playground would be corrected by removing the buses from the bullpen to make room for the new cafeteria and gymnasium.

However, one good thing about McCormick's location is its central location in a residential neighborhood.

Check out this satelite image.  Click for a larger image.

McCormick is outlined in red in the above image.  Notice that there are residential streets for blocks to the west, south, and east.  Downtown is close enough to be convenient, but far enough away to avoid distractions.

When school is dismissed for the day, many students head north through downtown, patronizing local businesses.  It's a quick five minute walk to Herrick Memorial Library to do further research for projects.  And in the fall and spring, junior high football and track teams can simply walk to the athletic complex a couple blocks away.  McCormick's centralized location within the town makes all of this possible.

Now, let's take a look at the neighborhood surrounding the proposed new middle school.  Click for a larger view.

According to the levy committee's Facebook page, the new middle school would "be constructed  adjacent to the high school on district-owned land."  The map above shows the majority of the land that the district owns (click to enlarge).  District land does extend a little further north than this image shows, but my objective was to show the neighborhood.  Middle school students are more likely to walk to school.  While McCormick is surrounded by residential areas, these parcels of land are less so.  The images are shown in the same scale and the same size area.

When I asked the levy committee for further information on the exact placement of the building within these 55.08 acres, I got an answer that was surprising.  I was told that they do not know exactly where it will go because no plans will be drawn up unless the bond issues passes.  All they could tell me was that they would make the new school close to the high school to allow easy transportation of food from the new kitchen to the high school.  Apparently, they plan to close the kitchen at the high school once the new building opens.

At first glance, it would appear that placing the new building north of Fieldstone Court and west of the mobile home park would be the best option.  But there are several issues with that.  How do we access the new building?  Do we extend the stub of street heading north off of Fieldstone Court?  Do we extend Maple Street west (taking a current mobile home park road) to access the site?  Do we build a road from the high school back?  Any of the three involve building a road, which is certainly possible.  But has this road construction cost been factored into the project? 

Keep in mind that since this new school is not really surrounded with residential areas like McCormick, far more students will either have to ride the bus or be dropped off at school.  So the location of the school on this land and the available transit routes to the new building really do matter.

 


Disclaimer:This site is not affiliated with the Village of Wellington, Wellington Exempted Village School District, or Citizens for Wellington Schools.  This site is privately owned and maintained and all expenses are paid for out of my own pocket.  This portion of the website was created to bring all pertinent information to one place, because when I did my own research on the subject I found that the information being published is sometimes incomplete or incorrect.  I have been careful to verify as much of my information as possible.  The sources of my data can be found within the links on the Resources page.