IWCS: Hardy bus loop nearly complete, should alleviate traffic

Published 4:22 pm Monday, February 19, 2024

Isle of Wight County Schools officials say the paving of a new bus loop at Hardy Elementary should go a long way toward alleviating the regular traffic backups on Old Stage Highway.

Since the new Hardy opened its doors to students in September, motorists have encountered congestion sometimes stretching a quarter-mile from the school to the fork at Blounts Corner Road during student drop-off and pickup hours.

Construction of the bus loop and playgrounds on land where Hardy’s now-demolished circa-1961 predecessor stood has been ongoing since the start of the school year and is nearing completion, according to IWCS spokeswoman Lynn Briggs.

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IWCS Superintendent Theo Cramer presented a corrective action plan to the School Board on Feb. 8 detailing efforts to date to resolve a $703,151 deficit from the prior school year, just over $345,000 of which remained as of January. Though the plan’s spending freeze through June 30 specifically listed the repaving of parking lots among “non-essential” projects that would be put on hold, Briggs said the freeze would not impact the ongoing work at Hardy.

“We are aware of the issue with traffic backing up to Blounts Corner Road,” Briggs said.

Until the bus loop is complete, the division’s coordinator of security and emergency management, Jason Brinkley, is working with Hardy’s administrators and the IWCS transportation department to enhance the safety of students and drivers during drop-off and pickup hours, Briggs said.

Construction of Hardy began in 2021 after county supervisors approved a $36.8 million guaranteed maximum price for the project.