NEWLAND — Parking and traffic at Avery County High School has been a hot topic with the construction zone in front of the school eliminating the entire front parking lot that would normally host student drivers.

The temporary situation has required the school to make some changes to how it handles traffic and parking, notably by creating a one-way loop around the back of the school for the flow of buses and cars picking up students.

A lot across the street, marked by the school sign, snakes into a lane that comes out directly across from the entrance to the side lot where all the daily traffic has to flow. The line of cars to pick up students is now interrupted by the road and stretches back into that parking lot across the street, with traffic control being performed by Avery County Sheriff’s Office.

Interim Superintendent Bill Miller said everything has gone smoothly so far.

“Compared to what could’ve been it’s pretty good,” Miller said, noting the placement of new signs had to be tweaked.

One glitch in the system occurred when Avery Middle School dismissed 10 minutes later than intended on the first day of school, causing some extra congestion.

Currently there is no parking shortage for students, but Miller said as the year stretches on, more students will buy parking passes. There are a few students parking at the lot across the street.

Miller added there has been some feedback noting that, despite the challenges, the system works better than the old one.

“We’ll see if they continue to say that,” Miller said with a chuckle.

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