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New entrance

Rachel Patterson drop-off, pick-up will be safer

News Staff Writer

Delivery and collection of Rachel Patterson Elementary School students will be more convenient and safer when the new entrance currently under construction is completed and put to use.
The new campus access is just west of the bus exit on Craig Street and just a few feet east of Craig’s junction with Rockaway Creek Road.
“The goal is to make our pickup and drop-off of students safer for everyone,” said Beth Drew, Assistant Superintendent of Education for Escambia County Schools. “The new entrance will prevent cars blocking the three-way stop while waiting to enter the school.”
The drop-off and pickup situation at the elementary school was made safer over the summer, when stop signs were placed on the north and south portions of Rockaway Creek Road, on the school’s southern end.
Still, a large volume of traffic backs up along Craig, creating the potential for low-speed collisions.
“Currently, cars waiting to enter the campus block the view in the intersection,” Drew said. “Cars not in the pickup line wanting to turn right off Craig onto Rockaway may have their view blocked during these times.”
Creamer Dozer Service of Brewton is constructing the new entrance. Drew said she did not have cost figures at hand but pointed out that the project is being paid for by the school system rather than from RPES discretionary funds.
If weather permits, the new driveway should be completed by the time students, teachers and staff members return from Christmas break.
Drew reiterated that the project’s overall goal is a simple one.
“As always, student safety is our utmost concern,” she said.