The long-anticipated extension of Olympic Drive to Loop 534 was officially completed Thursday, March 25, and is now open to the public. A ribbon cutting ceremony was held, which included City of Kerrville officials and Kerrville ISD and Schreiner University administrators, and symbolized the partnership of all entities involved in 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 the entrance to Tivy High School.
According to Kerrville Mayor Bill Blackburn, “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.”
Blackburn added, “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 new extension will provide entry and exit points to KISD’s new $65 million Hal Peterson Middle School which is scheduled to open this fall on the north side of the street. 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.”
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, currently owned by the City of Kerrville, is in alignment with Kerrville 2050 Comprehensive Plan priorities, and is being targeted for much-needed workforce housing in the community.
Schreiner University also owns property on the north side of the Olympic extension and is actively marketing its 200+ acre property for future development in accordance with the planning principles 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 development. All involved, including KISD, EIC, Schreiner University and the Kerrville Public Utility Board, are hopeful that this new infrastructure will help catalyze business growth in the area for the future.