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Chatham High Parking Shortage a Concern

Overflow lot at Colony Pool could offer less spaces for high school.

Superintendent Michael LaSusa told the Monday he and Business Administrator Peter Daquila are working with officials to find a solution to a potential parking shortage for students.

"PSE&G will be doing a whole bunch of construction along the power line grid, and that will cause the parking lot to be unavailable for probably the entire school year," LaSusa said. "We have to make some accommodations for our overspill that we use that lot for."

According to Chatham Township Mayor Nicole Hagner, which allowed the township to use the gravel parking lot. Township officials have let high school students park in the lot, since the high school lot is limited to students with a parking permit.

"Once we learn definitively of what the conditions at Colony will be, we will be in a position to solidify our plans for the school year," LaSusa said.

"Township officials have been very generous with us. We are able to to use all the paved portions [of the Colony parking lot]," LaSusa said.

There are three paved portions of the parking lot at Colony Pool: one near the tennis courts, one across from the pool and one on the same side of the street as the pool.

"We're hopeful that will accommodate most of our needs, though we still might hae to make some arrangements. Darren Groh is working on that," LaSusa said.

PSE&G is expected to begin construction on their in Chatham. The company has already begun construction in some towns. Construction could last from two to four years.

Board Member Steve Barna asked about safety at the construction sites. LaSusa told him the township asked PSE&G to construct a fence around the tower construction. "We haven't had confirmation yet from PSE&G, but I know the township folks have been working closely with them," LaSusa said.

Daquila said the district should not have to worry about similar issues arising in Chatham Borough. "I'm not sure any of the schools in the borough are as close to the power lines as and Colony parking lot," he said.

Board Member Jill Weber said some students from Chatham Middle School might walk along the power lines between the back of the school and the Tri-Boro Bridge, also known as the Bridge to Nowhere. "Kids like to play out there," she said. "That's the only other power line that would come close to one of our schools."

The board directed Daquila to make sure there were safeguards in place to protect students who might walk near power lines.

PSE&G representatives will be present at the Aug. 16 Chatham Township Committee meeting.

Andrew July 24, 2012 at 06:38 AM
Here's an interesting solution. You have 2 baseball fields at CHS right? Well.. this is why towns need to share things. Madison Boro has TONS of baseball fields that could be shared with Chatham. Get rid of the extra baseball fields and put in parking around the building. Or, Do what Summit High School did and make the Lacrosse field a turf field that includes baseball. It's a crazy solution, but that's the only thing I can think of. If the Chathams merged.. 2 towns could be working together but because they are separate now we're in trouble!! Consider it Chatham Township.. May just be crazy enough to work.
Sir July 24, 2012 at 11:59 AM
Lets only allow township students to park at CHS - since only borough residents can park at train station.
kjchat July 24, 2012 at 01:23 PM
Andrew, the schools districts are already merged... while I agree there are merits to merging township and borough, it does nothing to solve this issue... not to mention removing athletic facilities to provide parking is ridiculous. frankly, why are we so concerned about student parking... being able to park at the school is a privelege, not a right... kids can walk there...
Julia July 24, 2012 at 04:21 PM
EXCELLENT IDEA! What's good for the goose, blah, blah, blah.
Marty Mcfly July 24, 2012 at 06:19 PM
Removing baseball fields is ridiculous. Do you know how much money was recently spent on the JV field to prepare it for a transformation from a softball field? Do you know how much money has been put into those fields? We can't just make that decision. What needs to change is the culture. We can't have triplets driving three separate cars to school (it happened). If you live less than a half a mile, it's more than possible to walk. Carpool, bike, walk. There are better ways than just making new parking lots. If the town puts down their foot, kids will deal. They need to. I would. I am just graduated a few years ago.
llbxy July 24, 2012 at 09:22 PM
Repeal Kayleigh's Law so kids can carpool legally.
Marty Mcfly July 25, 2012 at 03:15 AM
Not that many follow it, but yes a repeal of the ridiculous Kayleigh's law would help this issue for sure.
Optimist July 25, 2012 at 10:07 PM
Let the rich kids park for a fee at high school like we did this year. Take the money and give it to not so fortunate students to park remotely.
A Buck and a Duck! July 26, 2012 at 02:13 PM
Time to go back to Gladiators, and Eskies.
Julia July 26, 2012 at 05:22 PM
Yes, Obama, we'll get right on that. I know how many "poor" kids there are in Chatham. Idiot.
jingle jones July 29, 2012 at 08:21 PM
Chatham's not that big. Most of them should walk.
llbxy August 06, 2012 at 11:12 AM
Chatham IS that big. Do YOU walk 8 miles a day?
jingle jones October 17, 2012 at 08:51 PM
Yes, I do. Run, actually.

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