Valley Elementary to improve carpool lane, add parking

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

Valley Elementary School soon will get some much-needed parking additions, after State Rep. Mary Sue McClurkin, R-Pelham, surprised the school’s teachers during an Oct. 18 faculty meeting.

During the meeting, McClurkin presented the school with a $9,000 grant.

Valley Elementary officials will use the money to add overflow parking spaces near the school’s new north wing, install decorative safety fences near the carpool line and re-stripe the school’s existing parking lot, said Valley Elementary Principal Deborah Scarbrough.

The school currently uses yellow caution tape to keep students in the carpool waiting area and safe from moving traffic.

“We have had that caution tape up for a while now, and we are going to be able to put a decorative fence up there now,” Scarbrough said. “With the kids at the age they are here, we really need something between those columns out there to make sure they don’t run out into the carpool lane.”

The new parking area near the north wing will greatly help the school’s congested parking situation, Scarbrough said.

“We really did need that,” she said. “I think everything will be really nice once it all gets done.”

McClurkin said the grant will help the aging school better handle its ever-growing student body.

“There is such a need here, and at many of our local schools, for capital projects like this,” McClurkin said. “This is one of our older school buildings, but it really houses a lot of students.

“This is just a small way for us to help out the teachers for all they do,” McClurkin added.