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School's entrance issues remedied
Repairs at Spotsylvania High School are moving forward but not yet finished more than a month after expected completion date.

 VDOT has finished construction around this entrance to Spotsylvania High to make access easier and safer.
SUZANNE CARR ROSSI/THE FREE LANCE-STAR
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Date published: 11/5/2012

By PAMELA GOULD

The steep grade at the main entrance to Spotsylvania High School has been reduced and guardrails have been installed, but modifications to the second entrance won't be finished until sometime this winter, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation.

The changes are being made as a result of the construction of Lake Anna Parkway, which replaced Courthouse Road in front of Spotsylvania High School and at the entrance to Post Oak Middle School.

A four-mile stretch of the parkway opened in front of the high school less than a week before classes began Aug. 21.

Use of the middle and high school entrances proved challenging on the first day of school because of thick fog, orange-and-white barrels dotting the roadway, and construction vehicles continuing work in the area.

School Board member Ray Lora immediately expressed concern for student safety and for staff attempting to direct traffic into and out of the high school's main entrance, which has no traffic signal.

VDOT agreed to several modifications as a result, including stopping construction work while students were arriving for school and departing.

The agency also agreed to decrease the severity of the grade from Lake Anna Parkway into the main high school entrance to improve visibility for drivers.

That work is finished, and guardrails have been installed on both sides of that entrance to protect drivers. Lane striping is the final step to complete that work.

Principal Rusty Davis said the grade reduction at the main entrance has made a "tremendous difference" for people entering and exiting.

School officials had initially expected adjustments at both entrances to the high school to be completed by Oct. 1, and then before the end of the month, according to reports Executive Director of Operations Don Upperco made to the School Board last month.

However, work at the Post Oak Road entrance is now projected to be completed at some point during the winter, VDOT spokeswoman Tina Bundy said Friday.

She provided no details on the cause for delays other than to say, "The Oct. 1 completion date was an estimated time of completion."

The high school has two entrances. The main entrance is used during the school day for staff parking and for parents dropping off and picking up students.


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