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Traffic, safety an issue at Warr Acres school

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The new elementary school is expected to be ready for students and staff by the beginning of 2009. The new elementary school is expected to be ready for students and staff by the beginning of 2009.
Students wait outside to be picked up by their parents. Students wait outside to be picked up by their parents.
Parents are asked to follow drop-off and pickup procedures and be patient. Parents are asked to follow drop-off and pickup procedures and be patient.

By Jennifer Pierce, NEWS 9

WARR ACRES, Okla. -- The construction of a new elementary school is creating traffic headaches and safety issues at Putnam City Central Elementary.

School officials said until the new school is built, parents need to follow the drop off and pick up procedures. The procedures were sent home in a letter because what little parking the school had before construction is gone.

"Putnam city schools grew up right along this street and every time they built a new building, it was along this street," said Arlie Neel, who picks up his/her grandkids.

Now with more cars, buildings and students, this area has become a parent's nightmare and a safety hazard.

"You've got kids running everywhere," said parent Pat Standlee. "You really have to watch that. You've got cars stopping and no place to park."

Because of the traffic congestion and safety issues, the district is building a new elementary, but the construction is making an already cramped area much worse.

"You have to wait in line, it's all congested," parent Chatina Cruz said.

"In one year, this won't be a problem. We'll have parking lots here and places for people to pull in," said Steve Lindley, who works for Putnam City schools. "We'll be adding about 75 spaces so those problems will be taken care of, but it's painful getting there."

School officials sent home a letter to parents explaining how they can help ease the traffic problems.

"One of the things it indicates is that parents should not park out here," said Lindley.

Lindley expects things will run smoother once students, school staff and parents get into a routine.

"Please be careful, there are children running around. We set up systems to keep them safe so follow the rules the school has set out and just be cautious," Lindley recommends.

The new school is expected to be ready for students and staff to move in by the beginning of 2009.

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