Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

February 20, 2013

District talking to city about Kibler

BY JOE OLENICK
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — The Kibler Park discussion will continue between the city and school district of Lockport.

Superintendent Michelle T. Bradley said last week Lockport City Schools will speak with city officials about the district’s desire to obtain Joseph E. Kibler Park. Discussions had stalled following a public meeting last fall.

”The board is still interested,” Bradley said.

The 19-acre park is located between Elmwood Avenue and East High Street, a property which borders a number of homes and Roy B. Kelley Elementary School. The school district wants to obtain the park to put in an access road that runs from the school to Elmwood Avenue in the north, to allow a exit route for parents dropping off students.

The move was an attempt to relieve some of the traffic congestion at Kelley. It’s expected to get worse in the fall, when students from soon-to-be-closed Washington Hunt move to Kelley.

”This could be a big problem,” said Trustee Anthony Molinaro.

Two people spoke at Wednesday’s board meeting about the Kelley traffic. Board members encouraged residents who supported the Kibler Park idea to contact city officials.

Lockport had asked the state education department for aid on the construction of the access road, which was estimated to cost $450,000. The department said no, meaning the entire cost would’ve been covered by the district, probably through its capital reserve fund. Voter approval would have been needed to use the funds in that manner, however.

In other district news, Bradley said the board will consider an updated version of the district’s policy on renaming school facilities next month. Board approval of the revised policy could lead to a name change for North Park Junior High School.

The Board of Education meets next on March 13.

The district’s policy committee met Wednesday to make changes to policy number 7110 Naming or Renaming School Facilities, Plaques and Memorials, which was originally approved in October. Prior to that, the city school district did not have a policy in place that dealt with the naming or renaming of buildings.

The approved policy would allow for the creation of a committee to look at renaming North Park. The committee would set up a timeline for looking at name proposals and coming to a decision. 

Renaming North Park came up about a year ago, when a group of residents asked the Board of Education to consider renaming the school in honor of Aaron A. Mossell. Mossell was a 19th-century businessman who was instrumental in the desegregation of Lockport schools in 1876.

Most of Lockport’s buildings are named after an individual, such as John Pound, a former Board of Education president and Washington Hunt, a governor and first Niagara County Court judge. The only two without a person’s name are Lockport High School and North Park.

Contact reporter Joe Olenick at 439-9222, ext. 6241.