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
Suspicious house fire under investigation
The Weatherford fire marshal says a fire that damaged a house and killed two puppies Wednesday night is being investigated as a suspicious fire and a suspect is in jail on unrelated charges.
Parker County Attorney John Forrest will ask county commissioners for additional funds as county budget discussions begin this year; he hopes to hire another attorney to help with an increase in Child Protective Services cases.
Firefighter arrested on child sex assault charges
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 Monday, faces two charges of continuous sexual abuse of a child under 14, a first-degree felony.
Developer withdraws site plan
ANNETTA —A controversial 34-home subdivision proposed for a 41-acre tract on Duncan Road will not go forward as planned, according to action taken by both the proposed developer and the Annetta Town Council after a public hearing Thursday night.
Aledo City Council to meet July 24
The Aledo City Council will meet at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 24, in the Aledo Community Center, 104 Robinson Court, Aledo.
Fires damage business, home
Two separate fires around 2 p.m. July 15 damaged a Willow Park business and destroyed the home of a Weatherford family.
Letter to the Editor
Thursday night, July 17, I was present for a surprisingly interesting experience when State Representative candidate Matthew Britt addressed a small group of supporters, followed by a question and answer session.
ESD 1, Annetta South close on fire station site
Parker County Emergency Services District No. 1 and Annetta South officials said Tuesday that the ESD is homing in on a site for a new fire station to serve residents in the Annettas and surrounding areas. Annetta South is expected to consider a zoning change to accommodate a new station next month.
Registration has begun for Aledo ISD
Aledo ISD enrollment for the 2014-15 school year began yesterday, July 21, and students new to the district need to register before school begins, Monday, Aug. 25.
County scrambling to fill elections post
Former Parker County Assistant Elections Administrator Laura Watkins, who sought, but was not appointed to the post of Parker County Elections Administrator after Robert Parten retired, last week began work as assistant elections administrator for Palo Pinto County, Palo Pinto County Elections Administrator Judith Evans has confirmed.
- More Aledo ExtrA Headlines
- Suspicious house fire under investigation