Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Comments Neighbors Have About Expanding at the Current Location

Are you a neighbor of the school?  Let us know what you think by leaving a comment.  You can also email the Governing Board directly at

It's never ever appropriate to have young children on the same campus as high school students - to do so would be a horrible idea and a huge risk to the current students' safety. Additionally, the current traffic problems are already a big nuisance to the residents of this neighborhood. Adding 400 more students would not only make the traffic worse, but would add countless more safety issues for the students and neighbors. Freedom Academy doesn't even have a crossing guard or safe crosswalk near the school - and they want to add teen drivers into the picture? It's just not a smart idea. ~ Rebecca Nielsen

I am opposed to the addition of a high school on that site. 900 north is not big enough to support what is already there, not to mention the 400 students they are trying to add over the next several years. Using a bus will never happen, and there is no way to stop the traffic. Please don't let them do this to us. ~ Chad Duncan

Building at the current site is a terrible idea. The site is not suitable for additional students, especially teens with cars. Additionally, it is inappropriate to house teenagers with elementary age children. The potential problems far outweigh the benefits. ~ Christian Faulconer

The goerning board is steamrolling this through. The is significant opposition to this. The traffic caused by the current grades is horrible. Adding more traffic is is not a good opption. This is the wrong place for a High School. The Board really needs to consider another location. ~ Kelly Roundy

One of the original objections I had to building Freedom Academy on the current site was the limited capacity of the surrounding streets to handle the traffic. That objection proved to be well-founded, as I have frequently been unable to leave the neighborhood going south in the morning and afternoon when children are being taken to or picked up from school. The governing board was asked at that time to have a traffic feasibility study conducted, and to my knowledge that was never done. The issue of excess traffic bears directly on the safety of the children walking to school, which takes on even more importance than whether residents can enter/exit the neighborhood. The board seems oblivious to any concern other than "moving forward" as evidenced by the fact that inadequate planning was done in building the current building. The board needs to realize that they have an obligation to safeguard the children in "their" school, and they need to do adequate planning that takes that into consideration. The fact that they have not thought ahead, and waited until this late date to decide that they have to have a building, instead of starting to plan 2-3 years ago, does not give them the right to trample the rights of citizens and ignore the safety of the children. Lack of planning on their part does not constitute a pass on their ultimate responsibility and an automatic OK on my part when they are up against an artificially-imposed time constraint. Haste makes waste. Parents may want their 8th-graders to got to FA for high school, but my money is on those parents to more so want it to be a safe experience for all involved, elementary and high-school students, parents, and residents alike.  ~ David Griffith

Traffic and parking are my main concerns. Given that the school's response to these issues so far has been reactive rather than proactive, I don't have a lot of confidence that these issues would be adequately addressed before moving ahead with expansion plans. ~ Blair Bateman

Traffic and safety issues are real concerns that should not be ignored. The school board also needs to set a good example of neighborliness for the children they teach and consider others before themselves. Traffic is already a problem.  ~ David Nay

Our neighborhood is not big enough to handle the traffic from the current school let alone additional teen age drivers. My daughter attends a different school. Each morning I walk her to the bus stop. There have been many, many times that "experienced" adult drivers have nearly hit me as I have entered or crossed in the crossing walk while walking with my daughter. Inexperienced teen drivers will provide a much greater risk to myself and the other pedestrians.
If my daughter happens to be late and misses the bus it is always a challenge to back out of my driveway onto 1250 West because of the amount of traffic from the school. And unfortunately in the 4 years I have lived here I have not found the parent drivers to respect the neighbors and allow them the courtesy to even get out of their driveway.
It seems to me that Freedom Academy has failed to respect the rights of property owners surrounding the school. Many of these owners have been here upward of 20 years. My neighbors have been highly pressured to install a sidewalk in front of their homes to accommodate for student pedestrians. This would take away 4-6 feet of their property. The reasoning behind the need for the sidewalk is to make the students safe while walking to school. This is an issue that should have been addressed before the school was even built.
Please do not create more safety hazards by adding additional drivers, particularly inexperienced teen drivers. Please respect the property owners who have been here for longer than Freedom Academy has even been around. Please think things through before you act.  ~ Katy Lundquist

We live around the corner from the school, and the traffic is a nightmare. When the parents are waiting to pick up their children, you know not to leave your home or be coming home from somewhere. Adding more students, especially high school age students who will (no matter what arrangements are made) want to bring a car at times will only increase this problem. Our neighborhood is an older neighborhood that was not planned for a school to be put in the middle of it. The streets are too narrow and there are not enough open spaces to accommodate a full K-12 school. We are not opposing the expansion of your school to a full high school, just not on the same site. It is not logical to put it on such a small floor plan and together with an elementary school. ~ Joyce Huff

The congestion in the neighborhood from parents picking students up is unrealistic and unsafe. Parents are not courteous to the residents in the neighborhood (blocking driveways, making the roadway impassable, saying and often shouting unkind things). Parents and the governing board show a disregard for the impact that the traffic has on the neighborhood. The impact of having HS students driving through the neighborhood would have a negative impact as the roadway is narrow and accessibility to the school is limited. I feel that it is not a healthy choice to have elementary and high school students on the same campus -- the maturity level of each age group are vastly different. The younger age group would be exposed to things that are not appropriate. The current site (on a narrow roadway with limited accessibility) cannot accommodate the current traffic, let alone the increased amount of traffic. ~ Kristi Jensen

We live by the school. It's VERY dangerous now let alone with teenage driving. We can not get out of our driveway certain times of the day the traffic is so bad. BAD idea having older students with the younger ones. I was up to Timpview High and know what I'm speaking about!!! ~ Janet Clements

The traffic from the existing Freedom Academy facility is already challenging the health and safety of our neighborhood. An onsite expansion to include a high school would further endanger our residential neighborhood.
The previous expansion to include middle school students challenged the school's ability to provide a quality education. I don't believe the school is prepared to address the needs of high school students.
It has been reported that the school board is planning to acquire the homes across the street from the current campus and ask the city to close the street. I cannot see how that would solve the traffic issues the neighbors are concerned about. It would meerly transfer them to the surrounding streets. And having the street closed would have a further impact on the ability of the neighborhood to function as a neighborhood.
That also seems like an enormously expensive undertaking, and the board should demonstrate its financial capability to proceed with this plan before creating that expectation. If, in fact they have the money to do that, they have the money to build on another site.
There are property owners in the target area who are not likely to wish to sell their property. It would then require the use of eminant domain to fulfill this plan. That is a very bad idea if the board wishes to maintain public support for charter schools. ~ Carol Walters

Are you a neighbor of the school?  Let us know what you think by leaving a comment.  You can also email the Governing Board directly at


  1. I can only express the same concerns at the other neighbors. Traffic, teen drivers, since where the children come from is too varied there will not be a possibility of bussing..
    It is such a bad idea the problems are too numerous for us to say !

  2. bevan WulfensteinMay 7, 2012 at 5:36 PM

    Recently Freedom Academy announced its plans to extend its current campus to include a high school.
    The Freedom Academy Governing Board and School Administration listed 5 supporting reasons for the decision to build a high school next to the existing grade school. In my experience the strongest arguments are often listed last. Item 5 in the list states “If we don’t expand this year, credibility of the school may be placed in jeopardy.” Following this line of reasoning then the real motivating factor for the decision was to not lose credibility. Making decisions to save face are usually made by managers who feel out of control. They don’t want others to think they are not in control or that they have made a mistake. As we see in this case, decisions made to “save face” often just add fuel to the fire. The emotional need to be right overtakes good business sense.
    Freedom Academy director Lynne Herring recently said “Freedom is a member of this neighborhood. We have no desire to foul our own nest.” I understand the principle she articulates, but her actions are indeed fowling her nest.
    There are a number of reasons it makes no sense to build a high school directly adjacent to a grade school. Most of these reasons have been very well articulated. For me however, safety and quality of life for both students and the neighborhood should take priority over convenience or saving face by Freedom Academy Governing Board members and the School Administration.
    Safety: The existing infrastructure was never designed to handle the current high traffic load already imposed by Freedom Academy.
    The road isn’t wide enough to handle peak demands resulting in long lines and frustrated residents and parents. There have been a number of close calls where children were nearly run over.
    Sidewalks don’t exist in some areas forcing kids to either walk on lawns on in the street.
    There are no marked cross walks forcing kids to take their chances crossing roads at peak demand times.
    Grade school kids are at risk from bullying and worse from high school kids located on the same campus.
    Quality of life: The neighborhood quality of life has suffered considerably since Freedom Academy was built. Building a high school will further diminish the quality of life in an already stressed neighborhood. As neighbors we have tried to endure and make due, but we can’t be silent any longer.
    Long lines of cars along 900 north and adjacent streets twice a day are difficult to deal with. A high school and more students will make the lines considerably worse.
    Many kids take shortcuts across neighborhood lawns wearing trails though grass.
    Property damage and theft has increased sharply since Freedom Academy became a part of the neighborhood. We can only believe these problems will increase again with the addition of a high school.
    Please don’t make decisions to save face. . .or that foul your own nest. Find another location for the high school.


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