Boy struck outside GISH days before College Street to close permanently

College Street in Grand Island will close permanently on June 4, 2018 (NTV News)

A boy has been hit by a car, days before the street he was crossing is set to close for good.

Every school day, hundreds of kids cross Grand Island’s College Street, which runs between Grand Island Senior High and the football field and parking lot.

A major stadium project starts soon, along with other improvements to the campus.

As of Monday, June 4, College Street will close permanently. The decision was made by the City Council last year.

Principal Jeff Gilberston said, “We have construction workers that will actually start on the east end near Lafayette Avenue and will work their way west.”

The principal says the stadium project is only part of the reasoning for the closure.

He said the school enrollment grows every year, and kids are constantly crossing the street.

“That equates to more foot traffic along College Street, across College Street and so we couldn't be more delighted with the safety aspect of the closure,” Gilbertson said.

There are close calls, and minutes after the closure was announced, a boy was struck going across.

“It’s ironic. We had a younger boy involved in football camp that was clipped by a vehicle on College Street, so yeah it’s unfortunate. I think he’s going to be okay,” Gilbertson said. “We couldn’t find a better example to reinforce why we’re closing College Street.”

The closure starts Monday. Folks can still access the school from the east and west, but will no longer be able to use College Street. Stadium Drive and the south student parking lot will remain open, however the south staff parking lot is closed for the summer.

The school plans a green space and walkway as part of the project. During construction, the school says pedestrian lanes between the school and stadium will be clearly marked.

All deliveries and summer business should use the west parking lot and enter through door #2.

The west side of College Street as it approaches GISH will become a driveway with signage and a new median to welcome people to the campus, and they think the improvements will make the campus safer.

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