A new east-end elementary school has opened with much fanfare, but no sidewalk, and furious parents want immediate action.
“It’s a hazard and it’s a serious concern,” said resident Jason Broadbent.
The French Catholic school Notre-Dame-des-Champs at 6280 Renaud Rd., near Navan Rd. in Orleans, welcomed 195 students with an official ribbon-cutting ceremony.
“The school is beautiful. It’s fantastic,” said Broadbent, whose six-year-old daughter is enrolled there.
Still, parents are fuming over the fact they were dodging traffic to walk their children inside.
“Everybody knew that this school was going to be built, from the city to Ashcroft, (and other developers) without any significant concern for the safety of the children or the residents and taxpayers, customers of these builders,” he said.
During three public meetings, residents were repeatedly assured infrastructure would be in place by Aug. 27, according to numerous parents, adding children are in harm’s way while the developers, city and contractor are playing the “blame game.”
Ottawa police were on hand with radar guns Tuesday, in an area where drivers ignore stop signs and speed limits.
Busing is offered to each student, said Talia Falco from the school board.
Three builders — Ashcroft, Minto, and Richcraft — are sharing the cost of transforming Renaud Rd. from a rural street into an urban cross-section, “meaning new sewers, and a new road surface with concrete curbs and sidewalk,” said Paul Rothwell, director of planning and development at Ashcroft Homes.
Plans to put in a permanent sidewalk are postponed until next spring at the city’s request, he said.
Sewers are 25 to 30 feet deep and were “very challenging” to install.
If additional repairs are needed, the city wants to be sure “all is OK with those sewers before we put the final road on top.”
Ashcroft has been asked to place a temporary throwaway asphalt sidewalk “in from our entrance road — Glenlivet — to the entrance to our subdivision on the south side of Renaud from the entrance through to the school,” said Rothwell.
“It isn’t all that long a stretch … and it would get the kids from there north.”
They’re “anxious to get it done” in the next few weeks “because we know it’s important to everybody out there and so we’re scrambling,” said Rothwell.
The city has been informed the temporary measures will likely be installed next week, said an e-mail statement attributed to the city’s manager of suburban development review Felice Petti.