The start of the 2017-18 school year will bring new changes to the McCallie Campus with a new look for Spears Stadium and new traffic patterns for driving on campus.
The most noticeable change will be closing of Kyle Street through the heart of campus from the Middle School to Davenport Gymnasium. This section of campus will now be pedestrian only with no parking allowed. A recent safety and risk study found that the road is a particularly dangerous place with many Middle School boys crossing it (often without looking for oncoming vehicles) each day on their way to and from lunch and activities in the Innovation Lab and other places in the upper part of campus. Closing this section of the road to vehicles willmake that area safer and will allow for a more pleasant experience for boys using that area.
Additionally, as McCallie has been envisioning its campus of the future through the campus master planning process, we have worked to connect the "upper" and "lower" parts of the campus. An active road through the middle of the campus hinders that integration and is aesthetically unpleasing.
Dormitory Drive next to the dining hall will also be permanently closed, also for reasons of safety and aesthetics.
Barriers will be placed at the intersection of Kyle Street and Dormitory Drive to prevent vehicular traffic. Middle school boys will be dropped off in the Middle School circle.
For cars needing to drive to the Chapel parking lot, traffic will now go through the SAC circle and then drive up Davenport Drive and back down Davenport Drive when they exit. Davenport Drive will now become a two-way street, so no parking will be allowed on Davenport Drive at any time of the day or night.
Kyle Street to the south of Dormitory Drive will be a one-way street to the south. For the safety of those turning onto Kyle Street from Burkett Miller Drive, it is vital that no cars park on that road.
Another noticeable change will be seen around Spears Stadium with the removal of most of the
hedging and outdated fencing from around the area. Over the years, these hedges had grown dense to the point of being nearly impossible to manage, and the fences also looked dated.
The fencing reflects a time many years ago when the general public traveled through McCallie’s campus down Kyle Street on a daily basis. Today, the campus is closed to non-McCallie traffic, and the need for fencing and isolating parts of campus no longer exists. In addition, the hedges removed sightlines through the middle of campus and had become an eyesore as well as a safety concern as boys crossed the intersection at Davenport and Burkett Miller Drive.
Moving forward, these spaces will remain open; during varsity football games and any other large event at Spears Stadium, temporary barriers will be installed for crowd control.
While these changes may at first disrupt many long-established habits and patterns, they are needed to improve the safety and beauty of on the Ridge, while enhancing the quality of life for the boys using the campus.