The long-anticipated extension of Olympic Drive to Loop 534 was officially completed Thursday, March 25 and is now open to the public. City officials, along with Kerrville Independent School District and Schreiner University administrators, recently held a ribbon-cutting to open the new thoroughfare and to symbolize the partnership of the entities in completing the project. The $2.24 million extension connects Singing Wind Drive to Loop 534, passing by the currently-under-construction Hal Peterson Middle School and ending just across from the entrance to Tivy High School.
“What is exciting to me about this project is its alignment with our Kerrville 2050 thoroughfare plan and, beyond that, the partnerships involved in this in terms of engineers, those doing the construction, KISD, Schreiner University, and the different departments in the city,” Kerrville Mayor Bill Blackburn said.
“The other thing is the connections that it provides to people in this part of town, and the safety that it brings to the area. This is a safe road. It is wide, it is well laid out, it has a great sidewalk, and for kids coming to school and their parents bringing them, it just provides safety.”
The project, which was co-funded with a $1.05 million Economic Improvement Corporation (EIC) Project Funding Agreement with the City of Kerrville and an equal amount from KISD, includes major pedestrian enhancements like new sidewalks, a multi-use path, pedestrian crossings and street area lighting, as well as an extension of wastewater service in that corridor. The roadway extension was included within the recent community-adopted revisions to the Master Thoroughfare Plan as part of the Kerrville 2050 planning process.
The new extension will provide entry and exit points to the KISD’s new $65 million Hal Peterson Middle School, which will open this fall on the north side of the street.
“This road is vital to getting into and out of this new middle school facility for our community,” KISD Superintendent Dr. Mark Foust said. “We think it’s going to connect our students and our families right back into town very conveniently and efficiently. We’re happy that the road is open, and we’re just so grateful for the partnership with the City of Kerrville. They have been so easy to work with.”
The road will also provide access to a new workforce housing development planned by Lennar Homes on the 34 acres across from the middle school. The land is owned by the City of Kerrville, which is utilizing the property to encourage much-needed workforce housing in the community through a public-private partnership with Lennar. Lennar is in the final stages of its design effort and hopes to have single-family rooftops available for sale later this year. The development is in alignment with Kerrville 2050 Comprehensive Plan priorities.
Schreiner University also owns property on the north side of the Olympic extension and is actively marketing its 200-plus acre property for future development in accordance with the planning principals outlined in the Kerrville 2050 Comprehensive Plan for this identified Strategic Catalyst Area.
The overall Loop 534 area was identified within the Kerrville 2050 land-use planning effort as a Strategic Catalyst Area for future residential and commercial develop- ment. Via this partnership today with KISD, EIC, Schreiner University and the Kerrville Public Utility Board, this new infrastructure installation will be critical to enhancing community mobility and pedestrian and student safety, and will help catalyze business growth in the area well into the future.