Rome City officials, commissioners, RCS school board members, and Rome/Floyd Chamber staff gathered at East Central Elementary this morning, January 3, for a celebratory Ribbon Cutting in honor of the new access road off Dean Street.
The new road offers a brand-new entrance and exit for parents and caregivers as they arrive at EC for morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up.
Rome City Schools Superintendent, Louis Byars, explained that in the past, cars would back up on Dean Street, causing traffic jams on both sides of the road. The traffic jams resulted in hazardous attempts to drive around the line of waiting cars.
“I was standing out here a few years ago on the first day of school,” he recalled, “and we witnessed an accident happen as we were standing here. It’s been a problem for a while because this is a rapidly growing school.”
City Manager, Sammy Rich, explained that the new road is the product of the 2017 SPLOST project; at a cost of $395,000.
“This is one of the smaller SPLOST projects,” he said, “but if you drive Dean Avenue, it will prove to be one of the most impactful projects.”
Rome City Schools Board Chair, Faith Collins, addressed attendees in the chilly morning air. She thanked the City of Rome for their help and support in getting the project done.
“This is a very happy day for Rome City Schools,” she said. “I know that our parents are happy, and we are beyond words because, as the mayor said, this road is going to take a lot of traffic off of Dean Avenue and hopefully curb a lot of the accidents that have happened because of the traffic.”
Attendees gathered with Mayor Craig McDaniel and Collins as they cut the celebratory red ribbon. Even RCS’ beloved mascot, Willie the Wolf, was in attendance.
EC will officially open the new road tomorrow for morning drop-off.
“It’s been good to work with the city on this project,” Byars said. “We’ve been eager for this for a while. We’re glad to see it come to fruition now, especially as this school has continued to grow. The timing couldn’t be more perfect.”