Tree Destruction – Sidewalk Construction
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In hopes of meeting compliance regulations and meeting community safety needs, Clovis High School has undergone construction to build cement pathways on both the north and south ends of the school tennis courts.
The trees located just south of the Clovis High School tennis courts are no longer intact as they have been replaced with a cement walkway that begins near Wrenwood Avenue.
This district mandated project comes with a need to answer concerns in regards to community safety. The project created a handicap access point, where the trees once lined the tennis courts, to meet handicap accommodation requirements laid out by the Division of the State Architect (DSA).
According to Deputy Principal Stephanie Hanks, some of the residents of nearby communities, especially streets that feed off Wrenwood, have raised complaints about students parking in front of their houses and even in their driveways. Complaints were also made about general traffic and teenage profanity immediately before and after school.
The north side construction moved the fence closer to Wrenwood to create room for a walkway to be built. The walkway starts at the north parking lot and leads to the N-wing, north gym, and open field areas.
While some may oppose the blocking of the north entrance as it was a means of convenience for many students and staff members, Deputy Principal Stephanie Hanks ensures the construction is for the better.
“It was mostly for safety,” said Hanks. “There have been no major incidents before; the plan is to prevent any before they happen.”
English 10 teacher Diane Belman said, “I get that they have to meet the school district requirements. [Because of the construction noise] I had to close my doors and windows and would get students complaints with all the noise.”
So far, the construction to the south of the tennis courts has finished and the walkway is open, and construction to the north is nearing completion. In addition to the progressing construction, the north entrance has been closed off since last Monday.
The aftereffects of the closed gate by Wrenwood Avenue, however, seem to have exceeded the school’s expectations.
“The school wanted to close down the Wrenwood entrance to promote student safety, but now the traffic is only more congested” said Kianna Cobarruvias, a CHS senior who used the entrance for accessibility to marching band practices.
“Now that it’s closed I use the student parking lot, and it’s extremely inconvenient because for marching band practice and football games that go till nighttime, walking across campus is intimidating, and now it takes longer to get to my practices,” said Cobarruvias.
Nevertheless, Hanks says that the school is open to complaints like these and insists that the administration and office at CHS are willing to try to accommodate and resolve those complaints.
When asked about future renovations for CHS, Hanks mentioned the plans for solar panels that will be added to the parking lot come December and brought up the role that the upcoming election may play in other future plans.
Hanks said, “If the District grants us bond money, that would give us opportunities for renovation, but that may depend on the [board] elections and nothing is set in stone”.