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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Percy Julian to be open for school traffic on Tuesday

Monday, August 29, 2011

Cross your fingers. Cross your toes. Heck, cross your eyes.

For Greencastle schools and the City of Greencastle sure can use a little good karma on the summer-long Percy Julian Drive project.

But barring any last-minute snafu, the roadway should finally be open to traffic before and after school beginning Tuesday morning.

That does not mean Frank Feutz Construction will just open up the roadway between Washington Street and Veterans Highway and let 'er rip on Tuesday or anytime soon thereafter. Doesn't mean you can zip up and down the new concrete.

Quite the contrary actually. In all likelihood the street could be closed on and off during the course of the day in order to allow construction crews to safely go about their business without traffic concerns, Mayor Sue Murray explained.

Continued dry weather has helped the contractor play catch-up in recent days after being delayed first by a broken valve, and then by an unexpected hump in a water line unearthed during the project that began the Monday after school ended.

The project neared the finish line at the end of last week with a second section of curbing completed Wednesday, followed by pouring the final driving lanes of concrete Thursday and Friday.

Some finishing work and an effort involving a special additive to be applied to driveway approaches were still on the schedule for Monday, Mayor Murray said.

Meanwhile, a couple of other issues relative to Percy Julian Drive emerged at last week's Redevelopment Commission meeting.

The first involved the temporary entrance to the student parking lot created off Washington Street, west of the stopsign at Percy Julian.

"That turned out to be a nice, unintended good thing that came out of a stressful situation," commission President Erika Gilmore said.

She asked if there are plans to make that a permanent entrance.

Mayor Murray said both school and city officials are evaluating a second GHS lot entrance since it has worked so well. The second entrance eliminated the need for eastbound student cars to progress all the way to Percy Julian, turn right and then turn right again in order to get to the parking lot off the school driveway.

However, Mayor Murray said there are two issues with the placement of the temporary GHS lot entrance. The location does not meet city code nor does it meet the criteria for a collector street (which is what Washington has been designated by the Indiana Department of Transportation).

To qualify as legal without necessity of a variance and/or waiver, the entrance must be 175 feet from any intersection and 100 feet or more from any other entrance.

That would put it on the opposite side of the utility pole to the west and at a more severe slope than the flat spot that has been used temporarily.

Acknowledging how well the new entry worked for the opening days of school, Mayor Murray added, "I don't know why that haven't asked for that in the past?"

Actually, the school has.

About 20 years ago, a similar new entrance was cut onto Washington Street from the student lot but was never finished and was soon restored to its previous condition. People living in the neighborhood at the time expressed concern that car headlights would be shining into their homes at all hours of the night as vehicles came and went from the GHS lot.

In another issue relative to the Percy Julian project, the Redevelopment Commission accepted a low bid of $1,340 from Green Electric Co., Greencastle, to run a new electric service to the parking lot lights at the middle school.

The GMS lot lights had been powered by a connection to other lighting along the Percy Julian side of the McAnally Center lot. However, during the widening of the road, the school corporation decided the lights along the McAnally lot were unnecessary since the Duke Energy poles would be providing sufficient illumination along Percy Julian.

There was initial debate over whether the city or the school corporation should be responsible for running the new electrical service.

On one side, if the city hadn't done the project, there wouldn't have been an issue with the GMS lights. On the other hand, the school corporation asked the city not to have the McAnally lot lights reinstalled.

Dismissing the quandary, Gary Lemon, made the motion for the Redevelopment Commission to fund the new electrical service, adding that he would "rather not see schools paying for lights."

Lemon, Jim Ruark and Drew Brattain cast votes in favor of the Green Electric bid. Commission members Gwen Morris and Erika Gilmore abstained due to their connections with the Greencastle Community School Corporation.

Green submitted the lowest of three bids. Ensor Electric, Greencastle, had a $2,056 proposal, while King Electric asked $3,875 for the work.

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i'm not sure were Eric got his info for this story, but he must not have drove out there to see. The approachs for the school lots have not been poured yet. With the cure time for the concrete it could be as long as five days.

-- Posted by bus man on Mon, Aug 29, 2011, at 7:07 AM

Putting the second entrance to the school in on Washington street is a bad bad bad idea. We have lived here since 1972 and have seen the school move the old football field and make a parking lot with no notice to the neighborhood. We are now entertained by all the people who think it is a race track for anything from go-carts to sprint cars, yes there have been full blown track ready sprint cars testing for upcoming races. Now we have a new sign with bright led lights shining in our windows, again with no notice to the neighborhood.

Now we are also listening to fireworks, at the football games that about make you jump out of you skin every time they go off.

And now you want to put in another entrance so people we be heading north on Percy Julian and cut through the school parking lot and screeching out on Washington to avoid the stop sign at D street? We have had enough accidents here over the years, This is not a good idea.

-- Posted by gadgetguy on Mon, Aug 29, 2011, at 9:17 AM


Things were so simple before 1972. Wasn't the school built in 1956. I am curious what you expected buying a house next to a school. I bet those pesky football fans before 1972 were well mannered and never raised their voices. And the cars leaving those games didn't shine lights as they turned onto Bloomington or Avenue D. Did they play those games in the dark? I can see why this would be much worse.

-- Posted by LitNup on Mon, Aug 29, 2011, at 10:26 PM


Yes those were the days,, They only had 8 or 10 games on friday nights and and the traffic was no problem then. Did not mind it at all. There also was a nice big fence with vines growing on it and that helped the noise level too.

-- Posted by gadgetguy on Tue, Aug 30, 2011, at 7:07 AM


I have to concede you are correct about football being used only in the fall 8-10 times. The parking lot is there year round. I live six blocks from Blackstock Stadium but I still here the band and fans cheer and there is more than vines on a wire fence in between us. Like trees and houses etc. And you are right there were only Varsity, junior varsity, freshman, and (back then) junior high games played on that field. Oh and the PE classes when the weather was close to warm. But wait there was track season too and all those fans coming and going, parking along the edge of the road and sometimes half way in people's yards. I think your fond memories of the football field instead of parking lot are somewhat softened by the passage of time. I know people don't drive better now than they did back in the day. Not many muscle cars and hot rods around today. And the school was there when you bought your house and things seldom stay the same across time. Perhaps you are just a Mr. Grumpy Pants.

-- Posted by LitNup on Tue, Aug 30, 2011, at 4:19 PM


Perhaps you just want to try to irritate some one. The track meets were always after school and over way before dark.

-- Posted by gadgetguy on Tue, Aug 30, 2011, at 4:32 PM

Living on ave f and definately keeping my fingers, toes, and eyes crossed.

-- Posted by rocket46135 on Tue, Aug 30, 2011, at 7:16 PM


I forgot what was the point of our discussion..LitNup

-- Posted by LitNup on Tue, Aug 30, 2011, at 9:00 PM

Could always sell your place in town and move out in the country.......

-- Posted by kubotafan on Wed, Aug 31, 2011, at 6:27 AM

As for Percy Julian which is subject of the article. I was under the impression that the road would be completed by the start of the school year. I also understand they run into some problems during the construction. I do not know of any large scale construction projects that do not run into a few problems. As a person that lives in the neighborhood of the construction work I'm very concerned with the apparent apathy of the city government with this construction timeframe. I can only say, for such a short stretch of roadway, it seems to me they took an awfully long time. And yes, I thought about moving to the country, but I'm not sure if there will be enough money in the county budget to keep the rural roads passable.

-- Posted by Blindside on Wed, Aug 31, 2011, at 3:06 PM

The school has become chaos. Its getting worse. U r right gadgetguy. Im sure back in the day, ppl didnt drive the way they do now, no matter what other ppl say. Teenagers these days drive like theyre stupid n plan on killing themselves n others. Ive picked my cousin up ONCE, n refuse to do it again. She goes to the middle school n I still had to pull into the high school makeshift parking lot to get her. N dont get me started on the "fighting to get out of the parking lot" ordeal. Its ridiculous. I know that entrance is there bc they need one til the road opens, but my Lord. Its such chaos n Im surprised there hasnt been any wrecks.

-- Posted by logical_mom on Wed, Aug 31, 2011, at 10:21 PM

As for me, I hope the fireworks go off several times on Friday nights. That means the Cubs are scoring points!!

-- Posted by kbmom on Fri, Sep 2, 2011, at 9:21 PM

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