Nacogdoches elementary location opposed

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Appleby Sand Road is a popular cut through between Nacogdoches to Highway 59.

" We have 18 wheelers, log trucks, water trucks. Just trucks and cars in general traveling through," said Lois Fitch, a resident living in a neighborhood off Appleby Sand Road.

Some residents believe the traffic will get only worse if a proposed $14-million elementary school is built on the south end of Appleby Sand Road.

" There would be excessive traffic when you compound school busses and additional traffic," said Fitch.

According to a NISD website that provides information on the $61 million bond issue, a facilities committee has been conducting public meetings since May.

However, opponents to the elementary school location say few of their neighbors know that nisd's 13 acre agriculture farm is a proposed location. Over 500 flyers were handed out this weekend to residents living in the area, including nearby gated communities. Contacts were listed as Mike Hebert, Kirk Owens and Shannon Smith.

"I can see traffic backing beyond the entrance to our subdivision," said Fitch. Opponents prefer an alternate site owned by NISD. " The district owns another additional 100 acres out on the loop which seems to me might be more appropriate place for a school since it would be more accessible," explained Fitch.

Opponent contacts list other major concerns. It was written that the Texas Department of Transportation was never contacted about the proposal. A TxDot spokesperson said otherwise. Kathi White wrote in an e mail,

'TxDOT completed a construction widening project on FM 2609 in November 2011 that consisted of add a Left Turn Lane and paved shoulders. We have been advised by Nacogdoches ISD that it is planning to build a new elementary school and that two locations are being considered. We requested a copy of the plans for review and let them know that we would certainly assist them with a traffic control plan.

School districts are always encouraged to contact TxDOT when making plans to build new facilities near state maintained roadways to ensure a safe, feasible traffic plan is devised. '

We contacted the NISD school board president. Ron Watson said he would rather wait for a recommendation from the facilities committee before commenting on the proposed site.

The committee meets on Feb.13th to revisit the concerns. Another workshop will be held on Feb. 17. The NISD board could vote on the location as early as its next meeting on February 20th. A NISD spokesperson said opposition to the proposed site hadn't surfaced until recently. "The district will reevaluate the proposal," the spokesperson said.