Kay St. issues discussed by School Board

Steve Stein GateHouse Media Illinois

District 709 and village officials have joined forces on a plan they say will address traffic and safety issues on Kay Street caused by the construction this year of an eight-court tennis complex on the Morton High School campus.

Superintendent Lindsey Hall detailed the plan March 31 for School Board members, who gave the goahead to explore costs to the district.

The plan includes construction of a 24-space, oneway circulation parking lot off the north side of Kay adjacent to the tennis courts, and a 7-foot sidewalk on the north side of Kay.

Between the parking lot and street would be a grass island. Some street parking spaces would be lost.

If the work is approved by the school and village boards, the school district would pay for the parking lot and island and the village would pay for the sidewalk.

A change order to the $4.7 million high school outdoor athletic complex renovation project is required for the work, which would include the removal of a fence on the north side of Kay.

“Swapping a fence for a parking lot isn’t an even trade, but this plan will improve the area because we’ll be getting rid of a rusty chain-link fence, and we’l

The superintendent also announced a school district-village plan to align the Jackson Street entrance and exit at the former school bus parking lot at the high school across Jackson to North Kansas Avenue.

The Illinois Department of Transportation would be involved in the project because Jackson is a state road (U.S. Route 150).

Another change order would be required for the work.

Fencing was installed this week around the renovation project area and demolition has begun.

The board also:

• Approved an intergovernmental agreement with the Morton Park District and Morton Girls Softball Association for the renovation and use of diamond No. 4 at Birchwood Park.

The park district has paid for the construction of a new parking lot at the park and will pay for a promenade from the lot to the renovated diamond, which won’t be ready for use by high school teams until the 2016 season.

The softball association will pay the school district $50,000 over five years to offset renovation costs. 

• Learned district administrators are recommending a 5-cent increase in student lunch prices for the 2015-16 school year because of rising food costs and federal requirements regarding free and reduced price lunches. No other student fee increases are anticipated. 

l address residents’ concerns, which we share,” Hall said.