Streets Stay Open Near Local School

The proposal was to close some streets near San Jacinto Christian Academy but after hours of listening to concerned citizens, the Amarillo Planning and Zoning Commission has decided against it.

This decision comes despite the school's request it would help protect the students safety.

For two hours, commissioners heard both sides for and against closing Mississippi and Carolina streets along with two adjacent alleys.

When the decision was made, there were many mixed feelings. 

Commissioners denied San Jacinto Christian Academy's request to close Mississippi and Carolina streets, along with these two alleys by a 4 to 3 vote.

The school proposed closing the streets to help control the flow of traffic and in an effort to consolidate the campus. "Well obviously we're disappointed, we believe for the safety of the kids this was the best thing for the area and we need to go back and determine what we need to do next," says Mark McKnight, Superintendent for San Jacinto Christian Academy.

Others were torn on the decision.  A public school, one block away from the private academy, could been affected if the streets would have closed.  "I have mixed feelings about it, I know he was just trying to take care of his kids at his school as I was doing also, and I'm hopeful though it brings attention to the area as far as the traffic congestion that does exist," says Doug Curry, San Jacinto Elementary Principal.

Businesses along historic Route 66 right in front of San Jacinto Christian Academy were worried closing the streets would have affected their business and are pleased with the outcome.  "I was excited about the issue. I think it will benefit the whole community.There is a dangerous issue down there and they need to concentrate on fixing the problem, but this was such a drastic measure they didn't try anything else before, they didn't try cross guards, I mean there's lots of alternatives," says Angela Corpening, Goldenlight Cafe Owner.

San Jacinto Christian Academy can appeal the decision by the commissioners.

The superintendent says he plans to meet with his board of directors tonight and have a decision by the morning.