Heath Ave. trenching changes traffic patterns

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Candice Hannani, Print Feature Editor

Workers continue the trenching on Heath Avenue, a process which has forced student and faculty drivers to enter from the front of the science building in order to reach parking lots. Associated with last year’s trenching on the front lawn, the project is part of an upcoming district campaign to renovate the campus. It will investigate Beverly’s seismic condition by retrieving soil samples from underground and is required by the California Geological Survey.

Workers spent the first several days drilling on the site. The noise soon became a distraction to teachers and students in the adjacent building.

“It was brutal,” math teacher Elaina Reilly recalls, whose classroom is on the first floor of the science building facing the trenching site. “The whole classroom, the floor, everything was shaking. Now they’ve delivered about four dump trucks worth of dirt [to the site] so we just get an interesting view. It’s not very disruptive anymore.

Teachers such as Reilly were warned about the noise and suggested to find another classroom to avoid it. Most were not informed, however, of the reason for the trenching.

“They just said that they would be working for four weeks and that we couldn’t drive [on Heath],” Reilly said, “Although, I’m curious to know what they’re doing.”

The administration and security personnel remain focused on traffic safety and efficiency around the site.

“We were aware that the trenching could have slowed down traffic entering campus, and if there had been a huge traffic jam on that first day [of trenching] we were ready to reevaluate how to address it,” House C assistant principal Toni Staser said.

One route considered was through the school’s south gate, although the administration felt hesitant to resort to that option since the gate “would bring in a whole other level of traffic,” according to Staser.

Although the trenching was originally projected to finish last week, it is predicted to come to a close within the next few days.

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