District discusses improvements near high schools

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Students at Flagler Palm Coast High School soon won’t have to get their shoes wet to get from the parking lot to class every time it rains: Palm Coast is planning to add a pump station that should keep the school’s lot from flooding.

The flooding problem at the high school is one of several issues the city plans to tackle in construction slated for the coming year near area schools.

The city will also move the bus pickup and drop-off area at Flagler Palm Coast High School to the rear of the school and add a right-turn deceleration lane at the school entrance, a change Palm Coast City Manager Jim Landon said should improve safety.

“You have in essence a system that’s designed to flood your parking lot,” Landon at a Sept. 17 Flagler County School Board meeting.

The school’s elevation is low, and the draining system sends excess rainwater from the area around Bulldog Drive pumping right into the lot, something the city plans to change by adding a pump station this summer, Landon said. It should be completed before the beginning of the coming school year.

“The high school is in a hole, and for major storms it will be the backup,” Landon said. “But it shouldn’t happen every time. It should happen very few times.”

Landon also discussed several projects that could impact Matanzas High School.

Plans to extend Palm Harbor Parkway toward the intersection of Matanzas Woods Parkway and Old Kings Road would mean the segment of Old Kings Road to the east of the school would be used mostly for school traffic, he said. Forest Grove Drive would become a cul-de-sac. The project would be run by the city and funded by impact fees, he said.

The city would also like to expand Old Kings Road near the school. “Our ultimate goal is to four-lane Old Kings Road from Palm Coast Parkway all the way to Matanzas Woods (Parkway),” Landon said. “It’s going to be a mess for couple years, but when it’s done, it’s going to be a serious wow factor.”

There are also plans to extend Old Kings Road west at Forest Grove Drive, and for construction of a new Interstate 95 interchange nearby. Those projects might add traffic near the school, but it will be years before they’re completed.

The Florida Department of Transportation, which has agreed to fund construction of the road heading west from Old Kings Road because it will approach the planned I-95 interchange, plans to complete the project in 2018, Landon said.

Landon hopes to move the schedule for the Old Kings Road extension forward a bit. “We’re very confident that it will happen in 2018, but hopefully it will happen sooner,” he said. 


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