Traffic piles up at BASIS Ahwatukee - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Community Focus

Traffic piles up at BASIS Ahwatukee

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Posted: Friday, August 9, 2013 7:45 am

Motorist who commute along the area of 51st Street have been experiencing heavy traffic jams during mid-afternoon throughout the week.

The cause of these traffic jams are due to BASIS Ahwatukee opening its doors to students this past Monday.

When classes are done for the day, BASIS employees try to guide the traffic to the back of the school, allowing parents to pick up their children.

John Hillis, head of school at BASIS Ahwatukee, said they were going to experience traffic during the first week because parents are still new to the system of picking up their child.

He said another reason why there have been traffic delays is because parents are curious to see the school facilities, which they were unable to do during Meet the Teacher night because it was in their temporary office.

Hillis said there have been six teachers each day directing traffic and helping out with the pickups, but if the problem persists he will seek assistance from the police.

The students of BASIS Ahwatukee are on different release schedules when getting picked up.

Fifth- and sixth-graders are released from school by 2:45 p.m., while seventh through 10th grades are released at 3:40 p.m.

Hillis said the school has designed its Late Bird program, a study hall for students who have to wait for their siblings who are released at a later time.

“We genuinely think by the time we get to early next week that one, the parents will understand coming half an hour early is not going to do them any good, and needless to say there is designated pick-up points throughout the school,” Hillis said.

Although there are still contractors on site completing the remainder of school, Hillis assures they are not part of the problem.

The school worked out a plan with the contractor allowing workers to be on the site during the hours of 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., in order for daily school schedules to not be disturbed, Hillis said.

Monday was one of the worst days for traffic because it was the first day of school, along with the school having an early release day causing confusion on where students should be picked up.

Hillis said most of the construction of the school should be completed by the end of this week, and the traffic delays will be handled accordingly by speaking with parents on carpooling ideas and the right time to arrive at the school to pick up their child.

“The carpooling is going to definitely be kicked in next Monday and we are hoping that is going to shrink the number of cars that are topping up here,” Hillis said.

Businesses around the area have been understanding about the traffic around the area, Hillis said, adding that he and his staff are extremely grateful for all the understanding.

“Once we get all this work done we are going to introduce the parents to the school, giving them a tour... and they can get into the habit of driving around, dropping their kids and driving off.”

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or dochoa@ahwatukee.com.

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