Watson Chapel High School is getting a paved semicircular driveway that connects to US 79, also known as South Camden Road, in front of campus to assist parents and other visitors. District assistant superintendent of curriculum, instruction, and facilities Bill Tietz oversaw contractors who were using heavy machinery to move dirt.


The driveway will enable visitors to park in the front of campus and to protect students. This construction began last week, costs about $150,000, and should be completed within two weeks, Tietz said.


East Harding Construction submitted the lowest most responsible bid and won the contract, Tietz said. These plans were in the works for several years but financial constraints delayed it, he said.


“We are doing everything we can to protect the kids,” Tietz said. “We were able to save trees. A tree was planted about 20 years ago in honor of a young lady who died. We’ve done everything we can to save it.”


Subcontractors will lay the asphalt. The project is not disrupting students or faculty members, he said. Watson Chapel Superintendent Connie Hathorn said his district does not have strangers wandering onto school campuses. He said visitors are currently parking in the back of campus, coming in through back doors and making their way to the front office. Two police officers direct people to the front office.


“We have not had problems,” Hathorn said. “[Visitors] come to the front office. We will lock off the back gates. The circle drive will include 15 or 20 parking spots. It is a drive-through.”