Leander ISD partners with municipalities, agencies for infrastructure and safety

Leander ISD partners with municipalities, agencies for infrastructure and safety
Posted on 11/15/2017
Superintendent's Column

 Superintendent's Column

Roads, public safety and infrastructure require healthy relationships among public entities to ensure our families and business communities get the best value for their tax dollars. Operating a system of 42 schools across 200 square miles in nine different municipalities and two counties requires Leander ISD to maintain communication and to manage projects with many partners.

Often, the decisions of a county or a city have lasting impacts on the ways we operate schools. The following information is an update on significant projects underway in Leander ISD’s neighborhoods.

Access road to Vandegrift and Four Points

Our operations and facilities team continues to work with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to obtain an Endangered Species Act permit to construct a secondary access road to River Place Boulevard.

In 2009, Leander ISD began work to add a road to the property that Four Points Middle School and Vandegrift High School campuses occupy. At first, LISD worked with the leadership of the 3M Corporation to secure access to land owned by the company to route the road. Then, the district attempted to work with the City of Austin and Travis County to build the road through an existing infrastructure corridor within the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve. This infrastructure corridor already contains electric transmission and water lines. LISD filed a formal application with USFWS in 2016 for a permit authorizing construction in a potential habitat for endangered species within and adjacent to the infrastructure corridor. We received a response in 2017 and are continuing to work with the USFWS through this process.

As part of the 2017 bond proposal, LISD asked voters for mitigation and design money. If the USFWS approves our permit, the district will need funding to protect endangered species habitats elsewhere in the region as a condition of that permit. Also, LISD plans to start funding the design of the road, followed by finding a funding source for construction as the project materializes.

Raider Way project set for 2019

The expansion of Raider Way, the road connecting Crystal Falls Parkway to Wiley Middle School and Rouse High School, will take place in 2019. Raider Way will have two lanes in each direction, as well as on-street bike lanes and sidewalks on both sides from Crystal Falls Parkway to East Woodview Drive. Also, East Woodview Drive will include a median, bike lanes and sidewalks to connect 183A with Raider Way.

The city of Leander included funding of the Raider Way project in its 2016 bond. LISD already provided $400,000 in funding for the project.

Additional Leander road expansion and improvement projects

The City of Leander is nearing completion of its Hero Way West improvements, which includes an expansion of Old 2243 from Lakeline Boulevard to HWY 183, impacting families and employees at Camacho and Bagdad elementary schools and Leander Middle School. Just north of Hero Way West, the city will expand Bagdad Road to Collaborative Way, the location of Glenn High School and the future sites for a new LISD middle school and transportation facility.

While operating a school district that spans 200 square miles sometimes presents challenges when it comes to meeting community needs, LISD is fortunate to have fantastic partners throughout our district. I ask the members of our community to continue to stay active and engaged as we build and support our world-class system of schools with 1 purpose, as 1 community, for #1LISD.