Project will improve Wren schools safety – $72,500 for road and sidewalks

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By David Meade
Anderson County Chief Engineer Judy Shelato presented information to the District One School Board about the Wren Schools Safe Routes to School Project the District and County are working on. During the board meeting Tuesday, Shelato said Phase II of the project will include a number of intersection and road improvements, primarily on LaRoache Drive and will complete sidewalk facilities interconnecting the Wren Primary, Middle and High Schools. Congestion on LaRoache Drive will be addressed by widening from the entrance to the Freshman Academy to Wren School Rd. and a turning lane will be added.

It will also include entrances with a drop off loop area at the back of the high school with a new turn lane and sidewalk.

A second entrance will be constructed to provide a 23 foot paved access with angle parking spaced from the existing parking area at the high school to LaRoache Drive.

A concrete sidewalk will be constructed along LaRoache Drive, both entrances and to the Freshman Academy to provide better pedestrian facilities. It will include new crosswalks, pavement markings and signage.

The project is being funded by two funding sources which require work items and quantities to be charged to the appropriate source, Shelato said.

Funding will come from a Safe Routes to School grant which will include all work at the Wigington Road and Wren School Road intersection. The project will also include installation of a sidewalk along LaRoache Drive and connections to the school, she said.

C Fund money will be used for improvements on LaRoache Drive including pavement widening, grading to the centerline, erosion control and non pedestrian related pavement markings and signage, Shelato said.

She said the intersection at Wiggington Road and Wren School Road will be changed from a four way stop to a three way stop which will improve safety.

The T intersection will require a left or right hand turn from Wiggington and a refuge island will be added for a crosswalk at the intersection.

According to Shelato, bids on the project came in less than expected, with low bid of $336,209 by S&S Construction.

Shelato recommended the District provide $65,908 and a 10 percent contigency for a total of $72,500 for the project.

Additional funding $174,951 will be provided by the Safe Routes To School (SRTS) grant and $93,350 from Anderson County. The County is also providing engineering services for the project.

Anderson County Council District 6 Representative Ken Waters will provide $17,000 from the District 6 paving fund.

The Board unanimously approved the requested funding of $72,500 for the project.

Most of the work will be done during the summer months when school is out and should be completed by the start of the school year, officials said.

Start date on the project will be April 2 with completion by July 31.