Road closures point of contention for residents in Schuylkill Township, Pa.

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Residents in a section of Schuylkill Township, Pennsylvania, are going to have to get used to the closing of West Pothouse Road for the next month because of the construction of two new schools. (WPVI)

Residents in a section of Schuylkill Township, Pennsylvania, are going to have to get used to the closing of West Pothouse Road for the next month because of the construction of two new schools.

But they're complaining because they got little notice, and they're not happy about it.

Some drivers were taken by surprise by Friday morning's road closure.

"I wish I knew it was here so I didn't come down this road," said Daniel Dwyer of Phoenixville. "That would have been nice."

The road closed in order to widen it. The goal is to handle increased traffic when two new schools open.

Redistricting is still to come with some kids facing the possibility of being shifted to different schools, and some parents upset their children will be in three different schools in three years.

"You're right. There is one group that has the potential for three moves, and that is this year's current kindergarten class," said Phoenixville Area School District Superintendent Dr. Alan Fegley.

The superintendent understands the worry, saying nothing has been cast in stone until the board decides later this year.

"So the final determination has not been made on redistricting," said Fegley. "This is a process."

The massive construction project has been controversial in the past.

The land was once a golf course taken by eminent domain against its owner's wishes.

Then, two years ago, neighbors tried in vain to save some of 300 mature trees slated to come down for new sports fields.

The trees now just a memory, but the fields remain a sore point.

Two of them will be artificial turf made with a material some think could be unhealthy. Neighbors tell us the material is being looked at by the Feds.

"They are going to be crumb rubber, and the government has now said or have decided to do a study on this that may take two to three years," said John Mraz, of Schuylkill Township.

The neighbors want the district to delay installation until the results are out, but the superintendent says the district is taking adequate precautions.

"The board has decided to proceed with the turf. That is correct," said Fegley.

Related Topics:
educationpennsylvania newsschoolconstructionSchuylkill Township
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