So much for business as usual.
The expected traffic delays, huge crowds and general pandemonium expected during the 2015 UCI Road World Championships later this month was enough to persuade Richmond Public Schools administrators to cancel classes for a day and shorten them for another. RPS will close two hours early on Thursday, Sept. 24 and stay closed all of Friday, Sept. 25. The school board finalized the decision at Tuesday night’s meeting.
The district posted the news on its Facebook page, where it was greeted by commenters questioning the decision and its timing. In response, Tichi Pinkney Eppes, the 9th district school board rep, wrote, "I apologize for the inconvenience and last minute notice . . . understand the sentiments."
She noted she was worried about child care options for some parents.
In July, school officials said they were working to finalize alternative bus routes that would minimize the races’ impact on students getting to school. Those routes were finalized in August.
“It’s business as usual during bike week for RPS schools; that’s what we’re going to try to accomplish,” said Tommy Kranz, RPS’ assistant superintendent in charge of operations, at the time. Kranz did add that the district would keep its options open.
On Thursday, Sept. 24, road circuit training is scheduled from 10 a.m. to noon. On Friday, Sept. 25, the women’s junior road circuit race is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 11:50 a.m. and the men’s under-23 road circuit is scheduled from 12:45 to 4:50 p.m.
Race organizers expect the largest crowds of spectators to form that Friday and grow through the event’s last weekend.