Differing Opinions on School Turnaround 

The Fairmount School in Thirteenth Street in Bangor has more than 250 students in grades four and five.When buses drop students off, things get pretty backed up on the street. Principal Ryan Enman came up with a plan for a bus turnaround. “That will alleviate all the congestion that’s here on 13th Street, create better visibility, allow the traffic to flow more freely,” said Allan Kochis, Director of Business Services for the Bangor School Department.The plan is to put the paved turnaround where there’s currently a swing set.It’s a decision some folks aren’t happy with. “I think that it will bring up concerns about children walking from this area to the school through the fields. I will be concerned for my own childrens’ safety when they attend that school, and I think other parents will be as well,” said Sarah Moon, a concerned parent and resident of the area.Moon is concerned the close proximity of the drop-off to the playground is dangerous for children. But Kochis says it won’t be an issue. “There’s a grassy area buffer that should alleviate that,” said Kochis.Moon also believe this isn’t the right time to be spending money on something she says many residents see as unnecessary. “We’re all kind of wondering why they need to spend this much money putting in such an elaborate plan,” said Moon.Kochis estimates the total cost will be somewhere around $130,000. That money will come from the school budget. “Any new construction mandates this type of system. You’re required to have separation of buses and cars, and walkers when you build a new school,” said Kochis. Moon believes there must be other options, such as bringing back the u-shaped driveway the school had in the 70’s: but Kochis is confident once the work is complete, everyone will be happy. “Once they see it in place, and kids being dropped off next to the playground, parents having better access out front, I think they’ll be all for it, and glad it happened,” said Kochis.He expects construction to start next month and says it will be completed by the beginning of September.