The Fayette County Board of Education this week discussed three different options for parking golf carts at the Starr’s Mill complex.
The three options range in cost from $45,000 to $125,000. Facilities Director Mike Satterfield and Deputy Superintendent Sam Sweat suggested that the most expensive option might be the best in the long term because it would provide a dedicated golf cart parking area that is separate from the current parking lot at the complex.
Options one and two each involve converting current sections of the lot to golf cart parking. It was noted that this may be cheaper now, but could create a shortage for car parking if the high school’s enrollment expands in the future.
“If we were to get back to 1,700 or 1,750 students, we would need all those parking spots, so it makes sense to do a plan that doesn’t take away any existing parking,” Satterfield said.
Satterfield also noted that it would be preferable, from a safety perspective, to minimize the need for carts to mix with car traffic in the lot. The third option also provides cart access for the neighborhoods like The Chimneys and Millpond Manor to the south of the complex.
Parents and students at Starr’s Mill have shown interest in being able to cart to school for years now. McIntosh High School already has several hundred students take advantage of this option daily.
The county introduced a plan to expand its cart paths up Redwine Road to serve the school complex earlier this year, a plan that was worked out by two high school age students interning with the county government over the summer.
County Commission Chairman Steve Brown has indicated those cart paths could be expanded “fairly quickly,” and spoke to the board at a previous meeting about the need for the school district to develop a plan for linking up to those paths and establishing cart parking.
Satterfield said that the dedicated cart parking lot offered in the most expensive option would be able to accommodate 250 to 300 carts with room for future expansion. He also noted it would “keep the golf carts totally off the roads with the exception of one crossing.”
Sweat added that the cheaper plans would likely require an extra crossing guard at Peeples Elementary.
Superintendent Dr. Jody Barrow said the school system will reach out to parents and teachers to find out how many carts might be expected if the school board chooses to allow them.
“[We want a] good sense of how many customers would be taking advantage of this as an option. Over the next couple of months, we’ll put that out to students at Starr’s Mill and Rising Starr,” Barrow said.
The Starr’s Mill complex includes Starr’s Mill High School, Rising Starr Middle School, and Peeples Elementary.