School Closing
Midway Primary to close in May, 2015
Posted on 06/03/2014
Midway
The wheels of progress produces changes in a community over time and that change is certainly evident in school facilities.  In the early 1950s, progress brought Midway School into existence to house the combined student populations of Spring Creek and Harmony.  Those children came together at a school located midway between the two communities on the Rockmart Road that came to be known as Midway.  Fast-forward to today and more progress in the Silver Creek community is bringing the time of Midway School to a close.  

The school known today as Midway Primary School will close its doors for the last time at the end of next school year on May 22, 2015.  The planned closing is due to road construction on the new section of the Rome Bypass and the expansion of Highway 101 (Rockmart Road) that will meet at the school site.  System administration has worked with the Midway Local School Governance Team (LSGT) and the faculty and staff over the last several months to develop a plan for the school.  During the plan development, the Midway LSGT and faculty wanted to have a time frame that would provide for an orderly transfer of students to new school locations, provide for community input regarding those plans and give the community the opportunity to celebrate the history of Midway School.  The plan to close Midway at the end of May, 2015 will provide time to meet all the goals of the LSGT and staff.  

 A change in plans announced by the Georgia Department of Transportation at a meeting at Midway Primary on May 20 made it necessary to begin the timeline for closure.  At that meeting, the section of the Highway 101 project in front of Midway that connected to the new bypass was moved from the Highway 101 project to be included in with the bypass construction plans.  The Highway 101 timeline to begin work was 2020 or later.  Including the section of Hwy 101 in front of the school into the bypass signaled a much earlier impact of both projects on the school and the need to begin the transition timeline now instead of later. “We want to keep the transition in our hands to meet the goals the LSGT and staff of Midway felt important to the community,” stated Dr. Jeff McDaniel, superintendent of Floyd County Schools. “Starting now to plan a transition will allow for orderly movement of children on our schedule and not one dictated by the DOT; it will allow community input into plan development and time for the community to celebrate Midway Primary School.”  

The DOT plan for the intersection of the bypass and Highway 101 called for only one entrance and exit to the school and the exit would not have a traffic signal.  The school does not currently use the entrance that would remain due to safety concerns in moving buses and parents in and out of that location.  The school system had previously commissioned a safety study of the site as a good location for a school by Contour Environmental in Kennesaw.  In their report, Contour concluded that the exit planned for the school was unsuitable  and that the site would not be workable after the road improvements are completed at the bypass and Highway 101 intersection.  The study reported, “Considering the safety of students, staff and visitors, it is Contour’s opinion that once the by-pass is constructed, the Midway Primary School campus would no longer be considered a suitable site.”  The report listed problems for all traffic, especially buses, due to the planned road changes and the “risk of possible human injury resulting from vehicular accident” as a potential hazard. (View report)   

A letter was sent to Midway parents last week outlining the plan to close Midway at the end of the 2014-2015 school year.  (view parent letter) The plan calls for system administration to work with transportation officials and facility planners to develop options to share with parents in the fall after the new school year begins in August.  There will be parent and community meetings between August and December to review plans and get parent and community participation in completing final plans for new attendance lines in the Pepperell area.  Children now attending Midway will be included into the Pepperell Primary and McHenry Primary attendance areas. “We want to assure parents that their little “Dragons” will continue to be in the Pepperell attendance area,” commented McDaniel.  The plans will be finalized early in 2015 so that Midway faculty and staff transfers can be planned to meet the student needs at their new schools.   All plans for students, faculty and staff are to be completed by March, 2015.