RIO GRANDE — The Rio Grande Village Council gathered Monday evening to discuss ongoing concerns, among those that stood out was concern about a second entrance for the Rio Grande Elementary School.
“I got a letter here that I’m not too excited about,” said Rio Grande Mayor Matt Easter about a correspondence from the Gallipolis City School District. “There’s only one exit and one entrance to (Rio Grande Elementary School). We’ve had three incidents where we have had to shut down the road (leading to the school entrance). All three of those incidents happened when school (was not in session) just by luck.”
Easter said there had been a sewer line break, a car wreck and gas leak occurring in western Rio Grande on Lake Drive in recent memory. The mayor claimed that a gas company employee told him that had it happened during school hours, the school would have needed evacuating.
Rio officials, during the meeting, said they sent notification to the district requesting the school consider building a second entrance to alleviate safety concerns with limited access to the elementary school.
The letter village officials received was from Gallipolis City School District Superintendent Craig Wright. Inside the letter, Wright responds that he agrees with the village officials’ assessment.
”At this time, however, the District is experiencing a financial hardship and it would not be feasible to spend money on this endeavor,” Wright wrote.
“I don’t know what the answer is here,” said Easter. “I understand they’re in a financial crunch. My big fear is if you had a tragic accident up there… You’ve got one way in for police and fire and originally the plans showed a second entrance to that school.”
Easter claimed the school was building a road out to a solar field on the property currently.
Wright within the letter said he would be willing to meet with village officials to discuss the situation. Rio officials say the response came after the second of two certified letters sent to the district.
Easter said he felt the current superintendent “inherited this” as Wright was named Gallipolis City School District superintendent in August of this year.
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2103.