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LISD continues permit pursuit for Vandegrift road project

LISD continues permit pursuit for Vandegrift road project
Posted on 09/15/2017
VHS Road Project Update

VHS Road Project Update

Leander ISD continued to work through the permitting process for an access road at Vandegrift High School, meeting earlier this week with representatives of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services (FWS).

District officials met with FWS on Sept. 13 to continue cooperatively working on a Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) application.

LISD is seeking an Endangered Species Act (ESA) permit to construct the access road, supporting 3,700 students and staff who attend and work at Four Points MS and Vandegrift HS. The proposed route will run through a small portion on the edge of the Balcones Canyonland Preserve, if approved.

Environmental studies have shown that the impact on protected species, their habitats, and the environment overall will be minimal, as the district plans to construct the road in a designated infrastructure corridor, which already contains three, high-voltage electric transmission lines owned by Austin Energy and LCRA, as well as buried city of Austin water lines.

When LISD purchased the property in 2006, it selected the site because of limited availability, access for student populations in the southern part of the district to relieve Cedar Park High School, and proximity to a 420-foot wide infrastructure corridor, which includes electric transmission lines. The district needs about 30 feet of that corridor to construct the access road.

In addition to working with the FWS, the Leander ISD Board of Trustees took action on Aug. 17 to include design and mitigation costs for the access road in its Nov. 7 bond election.

The $454.4 million bond proposition includes funding for design, construction, and furnishing at four new schools, an expansions at Leander MS and Vandegrift HS, renovations to and additions of Career and Technical Education (CTE) classrooms for high schools, and building and safety improvements at various LISD schools. The access road project totals $3 million on the bond proposal.

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