Sarasota High School hosts a public hearing on School Avenue

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SARASOTA COUNTY – It is phase two of meetings for the shutdown of School Ave. as the Sarasota High School Monday hosted a public hearing.

Residents, students, and faculty made public comments in the auditorium to the school district.

Sarasota County School Board says if the plan goes through School Ave. will be closed during school season from 6:30 A.M. to 10 P.M. keeping traffic, bicyclists, and pedestrians out.

The final phase is called “Permanent Vacation” where there will be a host of meetings between the city commission and the school board.

The effect of this plan will close School Ave. down for the entire year for school use only.

Bicycle Pedestrian Advocates Mike Lasche opposes the plan and says the city is using the emotion of the Parkland shooting to go forward.

“This has absolutely nothing to do with Parkland.  And Parkland a crazy guy rented an Uber and drove it into the school’s parking lot.  This has nothing to do with School Avenue.”

School board chief operating officer Scott Lempe says the opposition needs to be aware of what is going on around them.

“Well anybody who thinks we’re overreacting is living on a different planet than you and I are.  All you have to do is pick up a newspaper today pickup newspaper back as far as Columbine in 1999 and look at the world we live in.  The kids today grew up in a world where they worry every single day about there safety.”

The Sarasota County School Board will vote on the measure on Tuesday.

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