From Our Pastor: Safety of our Children and the Street Closure
As you may have seen in the bulletin last week, we had an announcement about the hope of closing the street between the school and church permanently. It seems to have been a question for many people for quite a while, why we have never closed the street. We have tried in the past and it seems it didn't make it far each time. I believe that we are at a perfect moment to request this and see it through. I ask of you, if you are in the camp of no, please come talk to me first, and I will answer any of your questions about the project. If you are in the camp of yes, please know that in the very near future we may need your help in this matter. We will have some petitions for parishioners, for neighbors, and for school families to help show the support for this project. We have been reaching out to those that would be most affected and it seems that most we have spoken to are on board, and we will continue that outreach. I have spoken to the owner of Underbrink's Bakery and they are not opposed to the project, which understandably (if you have ever eaten their amazing goodies) people are truly protective. Much thought has gone into this project, but that adjustments to our plan are still possible.
Our plan is to place permanent barriers on the 18th Street side to keep traffic from turning off 18th and flying down College Street, putting our children at too great a risk for me. We have had a few instances this year that caused me concern. I assure you we do what we can to keep our kids safe, but this will truly ease my conscience that they are as protected as we possibly can make them. On the 17th Street side, we will put raisable and lowerable barriers at the edge of the school to allow continued access through the parking lot. We will reroute the bus pick up and drop off. We plan on keeping College Street as a drive, but not an open street. We will still have access to it for emergency vehicles, for extra parking for Mass, and for our picnics and such. This section is already barricaded during the school day already (although sadly some attempt to drive around the barricades). We will have a safer space for our children to play for recess and to have safe passage to and from the Church for weekly Masses and to have safe passage to and from the grassy area behind the church and rectory. This is being done primarily for the safety of our children, but also will unite our campus for better connection between our parish and school. Please know that as we move forward, we will need your support and assistance to assure this project comes to completion.
If you have any concerns, please don't hesitate to contact myself or any of our Parish Council members. Please do not stand in the way of growth and new life. This is truly an exciting moment in the life of our parish, and we need to not fear this change and transition as this means energy and excitement and life for our parish. I need you to be on board and unify for the sake of our school and parish.
Rev. Steven Arisman