OREM — Mountain View High School administrators say the school parking lot's single road access poses an extreme safety hazard in the event of an emergency.

Principal William Delaney asked the Orem City Council Tuesday to approve the opening of a second access that would run between the high school's football stadium and the Orem Fitness Center.

"It is extremely important that we install some type of south access for our students," Delaney said.

Currently, the school parking lot has three outlets for student cars and one for buses — but all four empty onto Center Street. Repaving of that road scheduled for later this year would effectively shut down the school parking, Delaney said.

But the primary concern of the school's PTA is that students might be trapped in the event of an accident. Emergency vehicles also might be inhibited in reaching the school, the principal said.

Delaney told the council that Mountain View conducted a safety study and devised an emergency plan in the wake of shootings at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., last year. The study concluded that lack of a second route out of the parking lot was a primary concern, he said.

When a proposal was made six years ago to construct an access road from Mountain View to 165 South, neighbors complained traffic would threaten their children. Students from Orem Elementary School walk home about the same time the high school students would be roaring out of the parking lot.

"Those neighbors on the south side felt very strongly that it shouldn't happen," City Councilwoman Judy Bell said.

But Delaney said complaints came primarily from one person, and he promised the high school would take measures to protect the safety of Orem Elementary students.

The council took no action on Delaney's request, telling him to take it up with Orem planners. But city officials tended to agree with the principal's assessment.

"If there's a fire, you really do need two accesses," said Councilman Stephen Sandstrom. "If you were building a school today, state law requires two accesses and a continuous route around the school."

Delaney said the second road to the parking lot could be gated and opened only before and after school.