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Published: Wednesday, 6/8/2005

Byrnedale school plan yields host of concerns

Some changes are likely on how buses and cars enter and leave a proposed new Byrnedale Middle High School, Toledo Public Schools officials said, after some residents last night protested an array of issues about the school.

Gary Sautter, assistant business manager for TPS, told about 40 residents living near the school that he expects he will delay for a month a hearing set for tomorrow asking approval for a special-use permit from the Toledo Plan Commission to erect the school.

The district plans to build the school directly behind the current Byrnedale Junior High School, then raze the older building after it temporarily houses students from elsewhere while other schools are built.

The delay will give school officials more time to get advice to design new traffic flows that separate school bus arrivals and departures from parents driving cars who drop off and pick up students.

"You are challenging us, but I will commit to you we are going to work at it," Mr. Sautter said.

School officials want to start construction next spring on the $9.3 million middle school at 3645 Glendale that will house students in sixth through eighth grades. A previous plan to bring only bus traffic to the new school from Schneider Road was a nonstarter with residents on that street who objected to the noise and fumes. All traffic now enters the narrow 15-acre site from Glendale Avenue.

The existing flow pattern is a nonstarter with school officials. Some 200 cars driven by parents now daily enter and leave Byrnedale Junior High. The school has 757 students. Three students hit by cars this school year suffered minor injuries.

Residents on Eaton Drive opposed another route allowing buses to circle school property behind their homes. Other objections involved the new school's two-story height that will block out afternoon sunlight for some residents along Eaton and the location of garbage dumpsters near their backyards.

Phyllis Nuber, an Eaton resident, tried to sound a diplomatic tone at a news conference urging school officials to consider alternatives to its current plan.

However, many residents felt differently.

"We really prefer they build it elsewhere," Carrie Mariea, an Eaton resident, said.

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