RENO, NV - A private catholic school is asking the city of Reno to abandon a street right in front of its building. Our Lady of Snows wants to take one block of Lander Street between Monroe and Walker and turn it into a playground for their school children. The idea is at best getting a lukewarm reception from neighbors.
320 students currently attend Our Lady of Snows School.
During breaks they cross the street and use a city park for recess.
At pick up and drop off parents meet their children across the street at public parking spaces that surround the park.
But the principal says there has to be a safer and more efficient way to do all of that.
“They are in a public park any stranger can come across that park at anytime. That's number one. Number 2 during peak times of the day, pick up and drop off there are cars pulling in and backing up all the time,” says Tim Fuetsch, the principal at Snows.
“I'm saying it has a real massive negative impact on not just the traffic flow, but the actual inter-connectiveness of this neighborhood,” says George Swainston who lives down the street from the school.
Swainston is one of many residents in the area opposed to the street abandonment idea.
He says Lander Street is not heavily traveled, however when backups occur on the busy Plumas Street or Arlington Avenue its an alternative for drivers to get from California Avenue to Plumb Lane.
His second objection involves parking in the area, normally its not bad but when soccer games, other activities occur--including church it quickly spreads to the adjacent neighborhoods--with some people even parking in resident's driveways.
“Actually, one of the people who lives on Humboldt Street close to the park has an A-plex adjacent to her house. And she has gotten a letter from her tenants saying that they are going to move out if traffic flow increase and public parking spots are eliminated--that they aren't going to be able to rent. And it extremely negatively impacts her,” says Swainston.
The school has said it will actually increase the number of parking spaces in the area if the city will abandon a block of Lander Street.
They also say they will resurface the basketball courts their students currently use.
Fuetsch says the school use to have a playground of its own but they got rid of that when they built on to the school.
The city of Reno says Snows pays $1800 a year to use the public park.
A city staff report on the proposed project says if approved the school would have to pay full market value of the property.
Reno City Council will take up the issue at its January 25th meeting.