Ferndale High School students and parents should expect some detours when classes begin on Wednesday, Sept. 7.
Work on a stretch of Washington Street, from Vista Drive to Third Avenue, just south of the school’s entrance, began near the start of summer. Although that section of Washington Street is only about 900 feet long, it’s also caused a closure to through traffic on Golden Eagle Drive and a portion of Shuksan Street directly in front of the school.
Malloy Avenue between Vista Drive and Seamount Drive also will be restricted to only northbound traffic during the work.
“When crafting these detours, we always prioritize students’ safety,” said Riley Sweeney, a Ferndale spokesman. “That was our focus – what was our safest way to get people in and out of campus.”
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The city said it expects to detour traffic in and out of the school for the next month, and the morning and afternoon routes for parents dropping off or picking up students will differ. Those routes will be marked, Sweeney said, and Ferndale public works employees and police officers will help direct traffic for the first few days.
Here is what to expect come time for classes:
Parent drivers: Driving north on Malloy Avenue from the roundabout, parents can take the second right onto Memorial Drive to enter campus. From there, take another right just after the tennis courts and drive south through the parking lot for drop-off. Another right onto the open section of Shuksan Street will lead back to Vista Drive to leave.
Student drivers: Students can use two routes to get to either of the two lots. For the south lot, drive north on Malloy Avenue from the roundabout, then simply take the first right directly into the lot. For the north lot, drive north on Malloy Avenue from the roundabout and take the second right onto Memorial. Follow the road, which curves into the north lot.
Parent drivers: Parents can get back onto campus in the afternoon with the same route onto Memorial Drive. But instead of turning right and heading through the south parking lot, parents will need to turn left, loop around the parking lot to the north, and take a right again on Memorial Drive. Leave campus by turning right again on Malloy Avenue.
The afternoon bus route uses the parking lot to the south, which explains the need for two different routes for parents in the morning and afternoon, Sweeney said.
Students: Student drivers can use the same routes to leave in the afternoon, simply exiting directly onto Malloy Avenue from the south parking lot, or using Memorial Drive to leave the north parking lot to get to Malloy Avenue.
Students taking buses should also account for at least one change in the morning. Buses with middle and high school students will stop first at the middle schools for morning drop-off. The remaining high school students will then consolidate into fewer buses before continuing on to Ferndale High School, the city said.
No changes are planned for the afternoon bus schedule, Sweeney said. Parents can find bus route information at the Ferndale School District’s website, ferndalesd.org/transportation, said Mark Deebach, assistant superintendent for business and support services. From there, click the “school bus routes” link on the right-hand side.
Pedestrians and cyclists will only be able to access campus from Malloy Avenue, the city said.
The work along Washington Street will replace the pavement, sidewalks and crosswalks. The work also includes adding a flashing beacon at the intersection of Golden Eagle Drive for a safer pedestrian crossing. Planters between the street and sidewalks will separate pedestrians from drivers, the city said, and wider shoulders will make room for cyclists.
State grants totaling $480,000, along with $300,000 from the city’s own transportation improvement district, paid for the project, Sweeney said.