Temple roundabout

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

Temple Independent School District is moving forward with a joint improvement project — a traffic roundabout — for 31st Street in front of Temple High School.

The board of trustees approved a resolution Monday to proceed with the project. The resolution allows the district to begin working on an agreement with the city of Temple laying out how the project will come about.

The Temple City Council already approved a $24 million bond package for the project, which will prominently feature a new roundabout right in front of the high school. If the board signs an agreement with the city to continue with the improvement plan, the school district will have to contribute $1.25 million.

Assistant Superintendent Kent Boyd presented the improvement project to the school board Monday. Boyd oversees finance and operations for Temple ISD.

“These improvements will enhance traffic flow and improve safety for students, staff and visitors to Temple High,” Boyd said.

The plan calls for shifting the route of Jack White Street to provide access to Interstate 35. The high school currently has two 31st Street entrances. With the new roundabout, that will be reduced to just one.

The roundabout will also feature a large wildcat statue in a landscaped, decorative center area — in honor of the Temple High School Wildcats.

“The administration will … (now) prepare an interlocal agreement in consultation with our attorneys and the city of Temple,” Boyd said. “This is the first step toward approving participation in this very important project.”

Trustee Shannon Gowan abstained from the board vote on the resolution. Gowan works as the director of communications for the city of Temple.

Financial audit

The board also approved a financial audit report for 2017-18.

Members of the district finance staff said the audit report was clean and recommended approval. Superintendent Bobby Ott praised their work in preparing the report.

“I just want to take a second to thank our finance department — Kent Boyd, Kallen (Vaden),” Ott said. “We’re talking about upwards of $90 million, and an audit with no material weaknesses — that really speaks volumes about not just their department but the entire staff.”