Requesting that Edgewater Subdivision attend the new Old Hundred Elementary

Requesting that Edgewater Subdivision attend the new Old Hundred Elementary

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Craig Tatum started this petition to Chesterfield County School Board

We propose that the Edgewater subdivision be included in the new Old Hundred Elementary school redistricting proposal.  Edgewater has always been in past propsals to move to Old Hundred Elementary up until a final change made on 12/6/18 by the school board to eliminate the community of Edgewater from the plan.  Voting for the plan is set for 12/11/18.  The following outline Edgewater residents reasonings and arguments for inclusion in the Old Hundred Elementary rezoning proposal:

1. The school board's argument that the new proposal is increasing efficiency of buses and decreasing students times on bus routes as it pertains to Edgewater in comparison to other surrounding communities along the Watermill Parkway corridor is incorrect and misleading. The following data has been compiled using several different streets within each subdivision in question and average time and distance calculations were made for distance and time to Old Hundred Elementary as well as Swift Creek Elementary using online road mapping software as well as actually driving the routes in question.

Average Time/Distance Calculations from Subdivisions to Old Hundred Elementary:

  • Edgewater: Distance 3.4 miles/Time 6.7 minutes
  • Sanctuary: Distance 3.4 miles/Time 6.5 minutes
  • Watermill: Distance 2.8 miles/Time 5.4 minutes via unsafe left turn from Watermill Parkway onto Old Hundred Road
  • Watermill: Distance via safer route via Woolridge rode: 4+miles/7+ minutes

The average difference in distance to Old Hundred Elementary between the closest and furthest subdivision is .6 miles, with a difference in drive time of 1.3 minutes

Average Time/Distance Calculations from Subdivisions to Swift Creek Elementary:

  • Edgewater: Distance 2.4 miles/6.7 minutes via unsafe left turn from Edgewater onto  Woolridge/Watermill Parkway toward Genito Road.
  • Edgewater: Distance 4+ miles/9+ minutes via safe route via right hand turn out of subdivision onto Woolridge/Watermill Parkway toward Old Hundred Road.
  • Sanctuary: 2.6 miles/6.5 minutes
  • Watermill: 2.7 miles/6.7 minutes. This is also the safest route to arrive at Swift Creek Elementary, as there is a dedicated lane from the Watermill Parkway/Old Hundred Road merge and then a right turn lane and stop light for the right hand turn onto Brandermill Parkway toward Swift Creek Elementary.

The average difference in distance to Swift Creek Elementary between the closest and furthest subdivision is .3 miles, with a difference in drive time of approx 20 seconds.

2. Safety Concerns and Issues...It is difficult and dangerous to make a left hand turn out of Edgewater toward Genito during school hours, but with the move to Old Hundred, this issue is eliminated.  It is even more dangerous trying to make the left hand turn from Watermill Parkway onto Old Hundred Road, thus making the safest route to the new elementary via Woolridge Road, which Edgewater is directly across from or just to the west of, making Edgewater's move to Old Hundred a logical step for safety and efficiency. 

Per VA Department of motor vehicles crash mapping website per location from 2014-2018, the following accidents were noted:

  • Watermill Parkway/Old Hundred Intersection  - 16
  • Watermill Parkway/Woolridge intersection - 1
  • Fountain View, Bayfront Drive/Woolridge intersection - 3

As can be seen from the data above obtained from VA Department of Motor Vehicles website, the safest route to Old Hundred Elementary is via Watermill Parkway/Woolridge Road and the most dangerous route is the left turn at Old Hundred and Watermill Parkway.

Not only will the possible inclusion of buses turning onto Old Hundred from Watermill Parkway increase the danger at this intersection as more vehicle traffic from cars and buses would be expected to be going this direction toward Old Hundred Elementary, but traffic will also be much worse, as traffic backs up beyond the right merge onto Old Hundred from Watermill Parkway while waiting to make this left turn, thus backing traffic up from Watermill Parkway toward Woolridge Road.  This would actually decrease busing efficiency and increase bus ride times for students taking this route.  This would not be an issue at the Watermill Parkway/Woolridge intersection, as this is the current route taken by buses entering Rountrey, Sanctuary, and Bayfront at Edgewater.  This entrance is directly across from Edgewater.

If all members of the school board have not driven the routes noted in question during rush hour/school start/stop times, it is highly suggested that you do so, or at the very least, take the advice of your fellow board member from the Clover Hill district who would have intimate knowledge of these concerns.

3. Edgewater backs to Rountrey and actually interconnects with the subdivision and shares property lines and roads, it does not make sense to send one subdivision and not all that are affected. Edgewater is also included on the list of subdivisions along Watermill Parkway who share schools, churches, and sports teams, similar to all other subdivisions currently zoned to attend Old Hundred. Chesterfield County public school buses will actually bus past the entire Edgewater community in order to pick up children from both Rountrey and Sanctuary. Edgewater, Rountrey, and the Sanctuary all funnel directly to the Woolridge road route to Old Hundred Elementary, and you cannot get to Rountrey and Sanctuary without passing Edgewater.

4. If our Edgewater children attend Swift Creek Elementary, they are then slated to attend Tomahawk Middle (which Edgewater does not want changed). The move from Swift Creek to Tomahawk and the removal of all other filter subdivisions along Watermill will make our children the "new kid" at every transition, as all other neighborhoods moving to Tomahawk have been removed from Swift Creek Elementary and rezoned to the new Old Hundred Elementary or attend different elementary schools within the county. The school board is effectively eliminating our children's peer support system for the transition to middle school.

5. Potential to move whoever is zoned to Swift Creek Elementary to also be rezoned to Swift Creek Middle in 2022 and Clover Hill High in 2025.  Edgewater residents moved to this community for their current middle and high schools, as Midlothian is one of the top high schools in the state of VA, and second to Cosby in the county.  Clover Hill is not in the top 3 in the county or the top 65 in the state (as high as the data set went in US News and World Report), again, which would potentially adversely impact property values.

6. Potential property value decline, as many people search for homes based on elementary school zones, and all neighborhoods except Edgewater along Watermill corridor are included in the new proposal to attend Old Hundred, except Edgewater....where are the comparable subdivisions to Edgewater if Rountrey, Sanctuary, and Watermill are removed from the mix?....there are not any.

We cordially request that the school board reconsider this latest zoning amendment dated 12/6/18 and at the very least delay the final vote currently set for 12/11/18 until all of Edgewater's concerns can be addressed and considered, as again, we have been caught completely off guard by the latest proposal, as Edgewater has always been zoned to go to the new Old Hundred Elementary School.

Please don't break up our community and make Edgewater the black sheep of the Watermill Corridor.  Please consider sending all communities along this corridor with the most obvious and logical border being Genito Road south and Tomahawk Creek/Swift Creek Reservoir east of Watermill Parkway to keep our community together as a whole, Edgewater, Rountrey, Sanctuary, and Watermill, while still leaving room for growth at Old Hundred Elementary.

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