The Woodland Public Schools district has opened Woodland High School as a rest area for truckers along Washington state’s section of Interstate 5 at noon today.
The facility, which is located at 1500 Dike Access Road, Woodland, is intended to stay open 24 hours a day, seven days a week to support truck drivers for the foreseeable future.
Just off Exit 22 on one of the nation's busiest interstate highways, Woodland High School’s facilities and its access to the freeway makes it a suitable alternative for truckers. Other nearby services include Chevron, Docolicious, Les Schwab Tire Center, O’Reilly Auto Parts, Subway, Taco Bell, Verizon, Walmart Supercenter and Wayback Burgers.
District administration at Woodland Public Schools teamed up with community volunteers to open the high school as a rest stop for long-haul truckers after receiving word that rest areas across the country would be closing. Truckers will have access to the school’s parking lot and shower facilities to rest and recuperate. The district also plans to work with area restaurants and community members to try to provide access to hot meals; however, there are restaurants and grocery stores nearby at the same exit including a Walmart Supercenter located directly next door to the high school.
According to the American Trucking Association, trucks move about 71 percent of the nation’s freight by weight including food, consumer goods and needed supplies. There are more than 3.5 million professional truck drivers in the United States.
“The trucking industry is responsible for transporting the majority of goods and products our communities rely on each day,” Superintendent Michael Green said in a news release. “Providing the men and women who drive these trucks a place to rest and relax is vital in ensuring every community will receive the deliveries they need in this time of COVID-19 prevention.”
The idea to open the high school to support the nation’s trucking industry came from Woodland community member Eric Hansen who worked with Woodland Public Schools’ Superintendent Michael Green and Facilities Manager Scott Landrigan to coordinate efforts between the district, the City of Woodland, and the Woodland Police Department.