Despite fears that a new traffic flow and parking rules at Libertyville High School would create havoc on the first day of classes, officials said things went smoothly Monday.
The pending construction of a new indoor aquatic center prompted the changes and had educators worried about traffic jams near the campus, on Route 176 at Dawes Street.
But all students were inside the building by 7:25 a.m., five minutes before first period started, Libertyville-Vernon Hills Area High School District 128 Superintendent Prentiss Lea said in a Facebook post. And when school let out in the afternoon, cars moved along Route 176 like any other day.
Libertyville High junior Matt Smith drove to school Monday with his cousin, freshman Marty Humbert, and they parked at their grandparents' house near campus. They encountered a traffic jam on Route 176 but still made it to school on time.
"We got here with, like, three minutes to spare," Smith said.
Mettawa resident Larry Falbe, the parent of a Libertyville High sophomore named Will, said Monday morning's drop-off went smoothly for him.
"There was a little more congestion than usual for 7 a.m., but then again, it was the first day of school," he said.
New Principal Tom Koulentes was happy with the lack of major traffic problems Monday. But he cautioned that the school commute might be more difficult today because hundreds of seniors showed up early Monday as part of an annual first-day tradition that included a water balloon fight.
Those students -- including about 200 who'll park at the school -- will arrive with everyone else today.
"We'll continue to monitor it and see how things go," Koulentes said.
Under the new traffic plan, the main campus road at Dawes Street should be used in the morning only by buses and parents dropping off students. In the afternoon, bus drivers and parents picking up students use this gate, along with students and employees parking on campus.
An east entrance at Sunset Drive and Linden Lane should be used in the morning only by students and employees parking on campus.
That east gate will be used by students and employees leaving campus in the afternoon. Parents can use the entrance to pickup students in the afternoon.
Parents should not drop off students at this entrance in the morning, nor on nearby neighborhood streets. A Libertyville police officer informally warned about 10 parents about that regulation Monday morning but didn't issue any tickets, police Lt. Bill Kinast said.
As for parking rules, students and visitors can park in the lot on the east side of the building, as usual. But only students will be allowed to park in the lot near the tennis courts, while the lot on the north side of the building will be reserved for employees.
And on-campus student parking is being limited to seniors.
Traffic: Commute could be trickier today