PIEDMONT, Okla. – There were long lines to pick up kids as school started Friday in Piedmont.
Memorial Road between Sara and Mustang roads was supposed to be open for students and parents to access the new preschool building.
Thanks to delays on a bridge, parents are facing big delays to get their kids.
“So, this is pretty crazy,” said Holly, a Piedmont parent.
“It’s insane; Friday was one of the worst experiences I’ve ever had with traffic,” said Casey, a Piedmont parent.
“It’s a lot of mess right now, but it’s worth it for the kids education,” said a Piedmont mother.
“It’s crazy; it’s ridiculous. They should have prepared for this for months before this happened,” said Katie, a Piedmont parent.
Piedmont parents are hot about sitting in car lines up to a mile long to pick up their pre-K and kindergarten students at the new Early Childhood Center.
Busing has been an issue, too.
One parent took to social media, saying her 5-year-old got home almost three hours late last Friday without any notice from the school.
“ESMA had to come through here because there was at least 10 teachers that had heat exhaustion, some passed out, some couldn’t even drive their car home because they were so exhausted,” Katie said.
“We had a couple of employees that got too hot on Friday, but they are perfectly fine. EMSA checked them out, and back at work today, ready to go,” said Dr. James White, the Piedmont superintendent.
White said the 4, 5 and 6-year-olds are not in danger on a 100 plus degree afternoon.
“Their children aren’t standing out in this. We don’t bring them out until the car is pulling up, and so our kids are inside air-conditioning,” he said.
So, what’s the problem with the traffic delays?
“The City of Oklahoma City has redone the road in front of this, which we certainly appreciate, but the bridge didn’t get done before school started,” White said.
Contractors said they are widening a bridge to the east of the school on Memorial from one to two lanes. They reportedly ran into delays when ATT lines needed to be moved.
Right now, there is only one way in and to pick up kids.
“Hopefully, by the second week of September, we’ll have our other access open from the east and, once that happens and we can spread it on two different roads, it will make a huge difference,” White said.
The City of Oklahoma City said they can’t confirm a timeline for the bridge being completed.
Piedmont is one of the fastest growing school districts in the state.
The superintendent said they are currently at 4,500 students and add about 200 additional kids every year.