MANCHESTER, NH — A group of parents from Polaris Charter School have been pushing for safety barriers to protect their children from the everyday hazard of traffic on busy Kelley Street.
But first, they need to raise $7,200.
The reason is simple: There have been two accidents so far since the school launched in 2012 – including one in September of 2013 in which a car crashed through a fence and onto the designated outdoor play space, just moments after the school’s younger students started heading in from recess.
Although no one was injured, the need for a more solid protection barrier was clear.
It’s up to the public charter school, which has 105 students, to purchase and install the steel-and-concrete bollards, but they need the city’s permission to do so on the public right-of-way at their current location, which is at the old St. Patrick’s Church at Kelly and Cartier streets on the city’s West Side.
First hurdle for parents and school officials was convincing the Board of Aldermen that posts should be installed on the sidewalk in front of the fence rather than on school property.
Initially the city rejected the school’s request. But parents pointed to similar barriers at City Hall and the YMCA Stark Street playground, and so that issue, while yet unresolved, is still in the works.
But the city will place “school zone” signs in the area, which will go a long way to alerting the community that school children are present, says Kate Baker, chairman of the Polaris Board of Directors and Executive Director of the Network for Educational Opportunity
In the meantime, the school is going forward with the project, and is trying to raise $7,200 for 10 bollards.
To that end, a YouCaring campaign has been launched by the New Hampshire Liberty Alliance, a Libertarian-centric organization which, through its Civil Action Fund arm is promising to match the first $1,200 raised through donations. So far they have raised about $700.
Baker has put the word out to local businesses interested in helping get the safety bollards in place, and will continue that outreach.
You can donate to the cause, or learn more about the fundraising effort, by clicking here.