By JUDY SHERIDAN
Preparation for the fifth-grade move to McAnally Intermediate this fall moved forward March 17 with the Aledo ISD school board’s approval of a new traffic concept designed to keep congestion at bay while the school nearly doubles its enrollment.
The board authorized $56,000 in engineering fees related to the plan, considered to be an interim solution. Construction costs are estimated at $540,500, including the fees.
Traffic stacking at the school, located at the juncture of FM Road 5 and FM Road 1187, is already a problem when parents drop off and pick up their sixth graders.
Making the situation worse is a concern parents have voiced repeatedly at town hall, PTO and other meetings where the move has been discussed.
The traffic concept introduced by VLK Architects and engineering firm Teague, Nail & Perkins shows buses and cars on separate tracks, with buses moving to the south side on a temporary loop and cars on the north side in a loop that uses the parking lot.
“Buses would come in off FM 5 by us constructing a temporary gravel drive at the current entrance,” Tom Rutledge, of Teague, Nail and Perkins, said. “We would widen that entrance to where the buses right now exit.
“The buses currently come in off 1187 to the north and come around the east side of the school, then they circle around and queue up in there. That queuing up on the south side of the campus would continue to occur where the canopies are, but we would bring the buses in off FM 5.”
The drive is temporary, Rutledge said, because an assessment of the campus is in progress and there may be a need to expand the building or revise the site plan.
Parents, in contrast, should be directed onto the school grounds off FM 1187, Rutledge said.
“We recommend you widen the drive to make it a four-lane divided drive,” he said, adding that the parking lot would offer enough space to stack and queue more than 90 cars.
A gate would be built at the northwest entrance, Rutledge said, and closed during parent arrival times to force parents up to FM 1187.
Trustee Johnny Campbell noted the parent queueing would block the way in and out of the parking lot, and Rutledge said it would just be a problem for about 30 minutes during the afternoon as morning arrivals are more spread out.
Trustee Steve Bartley noted potential bottlenecking on FM 1187 and FM 5, saying most families come from the southern part of the district.
“Correct,” Rutledge said. “There are going to be some tradeoffs to this because of FM 5 and FM 1187. There’s no perfect solution to manage that.”
The project’s tight schedule calls for presentation of the design and a cost update next month. Construction should begin June 2 with substantial completion by Aug. 15, 10 days before school begins.
By JUDY SHERIDAN
- Aledo ExtrA
Plans move forward for new judge
The new judge for Parker County Court at Law No. 2 will be chosen by voters in November, but plans are underway now to determine who will appear on the ballot.
Buchanan to step down as AISD head football coach
Aledo ISD has announced a restructuring of the athletic department for the 2014 school year. At his request, Coach Tim Buchanan will become the fulltime athletic director so he may focus on the entire athletic program of the district as it continues to grow.
Water park burglar sought
Hudson Oaks police are requesting the public’s assistance in catching a burglar who broke into Splash Kingdom Water Park in Hudson Oaks earlier this month.
Commissioner at odds with school district's demand for land
Aledo ISD superintendent Derek Citty is moving forward with plans backed by the school board in May — plans to secure two school sites in the Morningstar subdivision, slated for the corner of Old Weatherford Road and FM Road 3225 in the City of Fort Worth’s extraterritorial jurisdiction.
An unforgettable state championship
Corey Kiser and Riley Sartain, members of Aledo High School’s state champion softball team, honored by trustees last week, are to blame for the 10-3 tattoo on the finger of their coach, Jeff Lemons.
Firefighter arrested for child sexual assault
A volunteer Hudson Oaks firefighter is in the Parker County Jail on charges he repeatedly sexually assaulted two young relatives over a several year period.
Richard Frederick Adams Sr., 62, arrested July 21, faces two charges of continuous sexual abuse of a child under 14, a first-degree felony.
Fire protection improving in Aledo
Stephen Watson, interim chief of Emergency Services District No. 1, briefed the Aledo City Council on improvements to the city’s fire protection — including the purchase of a site for a new fire station — in Thursday night’s Aledo City Council session.
Aledo ISD trustees affirm hiring policy
The Aledo ISD School Board affirmed a policy delegating the hiring of most school personnel to the administration by a 4-1 margin last week, with trustees Jay Stringer, David Tillman, Hoyt Harris and Steve Bartley voting in favor and trustee Bobby Rigues arguing that the board should retain the responsibility.
Aledo coffee shop helps support the troops
HUDSON OAKS — Wild West Splash Kingdom was the host of military members and military supporters the night of Saturday, July 19, during ‘Salute the Troops,’ sponsored by Holy Grounds Coffee and Gifts in Aledo and Ducerus College Planning.
Calendar of events
Holy Grounds Coffee & Gifts, at 108 Jearl Street, is hosting a series of outdoor movies in their parking lot at 8:30 p.m. on Saturdays through Aug. 23.
Admission is free and feature drinks are half price during the films. “The Amazing Spiderman” is Aug. 2, followed by “Tangled” on Aug. 9, “The Lego Movie” on Aug. 16 and “The Avengers” on Aug. 23.
For more information, call 817-440-7770.
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