Tippah County to help with school driveway access project

By Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal

RIPLEY – The principal of Ripley Middle School asked the Board of Supervisors for help in constructing safer campus drop-off access for students who arrive and are picked up in automobiles.
James Storey showed board members a drawing for what he hopes eventually will be a circular driveway from Greenlee Street to the back side of the middle school campus.
The driveway at the front of the school is used by both buses and cars, Storey said, and is an extremely congested area that poses safety risks for the children.
“I know that money is tight, but you have manpower and equipment, and that’s what we’d like to have you help us with,” Storey said.
Storey said he also has the school board’s approval and will make a similar request to the Ripley city board at its next meeting.
The area where the road could be built would give motorists access to an area at the back of the middle school band hall. A line of several trees would need to be removed from the hillside before any other work could be done.
County road manager Larry Jackson has looked over the site and the plans and agrees it is a doable project, Storey said.
Board members asked Jackson and county engineer Fred Payne to take a look at the site together to see how the county could help.
Storey said an early engineers estimate for the entire project was about $85,000, but the cost could be cut in half if he could get some of the work donated.
In addition to about $22,000-$25,000 that the school’s PTO has raised, Storey said some parents who are in construction have agreed to donated services as well. He also indicated that it might be necessary to proceed with the project and use gravel as a road surface until money for paving could be raised.
Contact Lena Mitchell at (662) 287-9822 or lena.mitchell@djournal.com.