Temple roundabout

This rendering, looking north along 31st Street, shows a proposed roundabout in front of Temple High School.

The Temple ISD board of trustees agreed Monday evening to allocate $1.25 million to improve roads in front of Temple High School.

The city of Temple is designing a project that would create a roundabout on 31st Street to serve the high school. It would also slightly realign the roadway and provide for potential connections to North General Bruce Drive. It’s a project that city and school officials believe will improve address traffic congestion in the area.

The board voted unanimously to enter into an interlocal agreement with the city. The district agreed to contribute the $1.25 million and any necessary right of way to the project.

“I think the most important thing for us is that it will improve safety and traffic flow for Temple High School students, staff and visitors to the school,” said Kent Boyd assistant superintendent of finance and operations. “Certainly, it’s an opportunity to improve the front door to Temple High School and the city of Temple, but the traffic flow improvements are what’s most important to us.”

The city, which approved a $212,000 design contract in September for the project, will oversee construction of the improvements. Construction is expected to start no later than July 1, 2020.

The Temple City Council will vote on its portion of the agreement at its Thursday meeting.

In a City Council workshop last September, City Manager Brynn Myers said initial designs call for realigning Jack White Street slightly to the south, connecting the roundabout to Interstate 35.

The high school’s current two entrances would be consolidated into one at the roundabout.

“The single entrance into the high school campus is desirable from a safety standpoint,” Myers said.

During that September meeting, the city agreed to purchase the former Johnson Brothers Ford property across from the high school for $1.5 million. Part of this land will be used as right of way for the road project. Myers said the remaining unused property can then be pitched to developers.