Brookfield elected officials say they’re open to finding a solution to help Riverside Elementary School District 96 solve a staff parking shortage that will result next year when a new addition is built at Hollywood School.
However, trustees and the village president made clear they still had concerns that allowing on-street parking for staff along Hollywood Avenue in front of the school would create headaches school officials hadn’t considered.
The school district plans on building a multipurpose room onto the rear of Hollywood School next summer, which will reduce the size of the existing parking lot to about eight spaces.
School district officials earlier this year were able to swing a deal with the Chicago Zoological Society to rent 10 parking spaces in the southwest corner of Brookfield Zoo’s south parking lot.
While the school itself has a staff of 17, the addition of the new multipurpose room creates the need for 26 parking spaces for the school, according to the village’s code. District 96 has asked the village of Brookfield to create 10 parking spaces along the east side of Hollywood Avenue in front of the school to comply with the code.
Though it would seem that the school has enough parking for staff without the on-street spaces, there are others who visit the schools throughout the week – music and art teachers, advanced learning teachers, math and reading specialists, speech/language pathologists, psychologists, social workers and others.
The school district has proposed placing the 10 parking spots, which could be occupied between 7:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. on school days, north of the Hollywood School entrance.
Village President Kit Ketchmark, whose children went to Hollywood School, said that at dismissal time, parents’ vehicles are already lined up along the east side of Hollywood Avenue from Washington Avenue to the cul-de-sac at the north end of the block.
Adding faculty vehicles parked on the street into the mix would only make that situation worse, Ketchmark said.
“If there’s 10 designated teacher/employee parking spots in that area, where do all these cars go that are waiting to pick up the students?” Ketchmark asked school district officials during a discussion of the subject at the village board’s Nov. 23 committee of the whole meeting.
Ketchmark also worried that parent vehicles might begin spilling over onto Rockefeller Avenue, where neighbors in the past have complained about school traffic.
Trustee Michael Garvey also wondered how the school would handle parking on Hollywood Avenue during winter days where there’s enough snowfall to trigger parking bans to allow streets to be plowed.
Right now, there’s no parking allowed on that side of the street, so plowing that side of Hollywood Avenue isn’t an issue. If cars begin to park there, it’s something that needs to be taken into consideration, Garvey said.
“If it’s snowing throughout the day and there’s eight cars parked there, it means that street can’t be plowed,” Garvey said.
“What do we do? It’s so important that street gets plowed in the winter.”
Village Manager Timothy Wiberg told the Landmark that village staff met with school officials on Nov. 30 to address elected officials’ concerns and said representatives from District 96 would be back with some answers for trustees at their Dec. 14 committee of the whole meeting.
“I believe we can come to some logical conclusions about how to handle the snow plowing,” Wiberg told the Landmark in a phone interview. “Those and other issues are things that can be solved and addressed.”