DEMOS MM 01

The old Johnson Brothers Ford site off Interstate 35 in Temple is pictured on Thursday, April 18, 2019. The Temple City Council has approved demolitions for the old Chamber of Commerce building and the Johnson Brothers Ford site. The latter will be used for the planned roundabout gateway entrance in front of Temple High School. The chamber building will become parking for the redeveloped Santa Fe Plaza. Michael Miller/Telegram

The Temple City Council approved the demolition of two buildings to make room for upcoming projects.

The former Johnson Brothers auto dealership, located at 503 N. General Bruce Drive off Interstate 35, will be demolished as part of the city’s $1.25 million plans for road improvements — including a roundabout — on 31st Street in front of Temple High School. The city of Temple and the Temple Independent School District agreed to work together on the project.

The new roundabout is intended to improve safety and increase traffic flow to the school as well as serving as a gateway to the city, officials said.

“The thing for the school district is that we get a new front door, and right now we don’t have a good one,” TISD Superintendent Bobby Ott said of the roundabout. “And it isn’t just a new front door for the school, but a new front door for downtown.”

The cost to demolish the dealership site is $110,228.

The Council also approved the demolition of the old Temple Chamber of Commerce building at Central Avenue and Fifth Avenue. The land be used for additional parking for nearby the Santa Fe Plaza, where the Chamber occupies a new office.

The old Chamber building will be demolished at a cost of $57,600.

Both buildings will be demolished soon and the sites are expected to cleared by the end of June, officials said.

City Manager Brynn Myers said the timeframe for both properties isn’t finalized.

Myers estimated that construction for improvements on the old Johnson Brothers land would begin early next year.