Builder offers to fix school district's sidewalk to nowhere - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Builder offers to fix school district's sidewalk to nowhere

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The sidewalks meant to connect Meadow Glen Elementary School and the D.R. Horton Wellesley subdivision do not match up. (Source: Todd Cockrell) The sidewalks meant to connect Meadow Glen Elementary School and the D.R. Horton Wellesley subdivision do not match up. (Source: Todd Cockrell)
The sidewalks meant to connect Meadow Glen Elementary School and the D.R. Horton Wellesley subdivision do not match up. (Source: Todd Cockrell) The sidewalks meant to connect Meadow Glen Elementary School and the D.R. Horton Wellesley subdivision do not match up. (Source: Todd Cockrell)
The sidewalk connection was to be made between the school district grounds and an easement on Ashmore Lane. (Source: Google Maps) The sidewalk connection was to be made between the school district grounds and an easement on Ashmore Lane. (Source: Google Maps)
LEXINGTON, SC (WIS) -

The builder of a community adjacent to a Midlands school has offered to correct the school district's apparent mistake when building a sidewalk that was supposed to connect the neighborhood to school grounds.

Late Thursday, WIS received a response from D.R. Horton, the builder of Lexington's Wellesley subdivision, regarding two sidewalks meant to connect the community with Meadow Glen Elementary School.

A resident of the Wellesley subdivision sent a picture of the misaligned sidewalks to WIS hoping that we could make sense of the apparent geometric gaffe. "New sidewalk to connect Meadow Glen Elementary to Wellesley subdivision," wrote Todd Cockrell on the WIS Facebook page. "I think we need to invest more in our schools because someone can't read a measuring tape. True story."

An initial emailed response to WIS from the school district placed blame on D.R. Horton. "It's actually not our issue," wrote Lexington School District One Chief Communications Officer Mary Beth Hill. "It is an issue for the surveyor and contractor for the Wellesley subdivision."

"They knew when they poured the sidewalk on the Wellesley side that it would not match the concrete from the district's side," continued Hill. "They indicated that it had to go in that particular spot."

D.R. Horton's construction superintendent then said his team built the sidewalk within a community easement and had followed its survey correctly. The opening for the sidewalk on the school's side was supposed to be where the orange ribbon can be seen in the picture, he said.

The triangle to the left of the sidewalk on the Wellesley side is on someone's lot.

The only way, according to the builder, to alleviate the situation is if the district curves its sidewalk towards the community's walkway.

In an emailed statement, a spokesperson for D.R. Horton said company officials spoke with a school administrator who agreed with the builder's assessment of the situation.

"D.R. Horton had its section of the sidewalk surveyed, then double-checked the survey to make sure it was set per the plans approved by Lexington County and Landtech Development," wrote Ronnie Edenfield, Charlotte Division Construction Manager. "Once we confirmed our sidewalk placement, we spoke with an administrator for the elementary school who agreed with our conclusion."

He indicated that we should proceed with the sidewalk, and he would communicate the situation to the appropriate parties within the school system," continued Edenfield. "D.R. Horton has offered, at its expense, to remove and redirect a portion of the school's sidewalk so that it will connect correctly."

Lexington One confirms a conversation took place Thursday about the issue, but doesn't necessarily agree with D.R. Horton's assessment that the district was actually the at fault party.

On Friday, Hill sent WIS an email explaining that the two sides were working together on a solution, but reiterated that the district believes it followed the correct procedures.

"The MGES school side of the sidewalk was poured in May 2011," wrote Hill. "Before the school's sidewalk was poured, our contractor's representatives met with the land developer and the land developer drove a stake in the ground to mark the center of the sidewalk coming from the school site in order to align with the sidewalk coming from the developer's site. I believe that stake (wooden) is still there and visible in the photograph. We did what we were instructed to do by the land developer."

Either way, D.R. Horton is ready to connect the sidewalks.

"We are prepared to begin this work as soon as the school has the fence moved and when we receive proper permissions from the school. We look forward to helping the school resolve this issue as quickly as possible."

"I was hoping WIS could get some answers," said Cockrell. "If the school is at fault, we all pay for it. If the subdivision is at fault, well, I am still paying for it as I live here."

According to D.R. Horton, the expense to move the district's sidewalk will come out of its own pocket. It is unclear how much time and money the district will have to spend moving the fence.

Cockrell said his son will be using the sidewalk in the spring to travel by bicycle to adjoining Meadow Glen Middle School.

The school opened off Ginny Lane near I-20 and Sunset Boulevard in August, 2011 at a cost of $13.6 million.

If you have an issue you'd like us to investigate, please send detailed information to: countonwis@wistv.com or visit the WIS Investigates page and fill out our contact form.

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