City under construction
From sewer and water projects to new roads to parking garages and an indoor shooting range, the city is keeping work crews busy.
The Avenue C expansion project is nearing completion at the MLK Festival Grounds where new signs have been erected. The building at right is an old feed store that has been renovated and will serve as a preparation room for festival performers. Once this portion is completed, work will move eastward on Avenue C toward 24th Street. Avenue C is one of dozens of city projects either in the works or on the drawing table. David Stone photo
By DAVID STONE, Our Town Temple
Work on the 4th Street parking garage is well under way, and fencing will go up within the next week at the 1st Street site. But according to Temple officials, when it comes to city projects, these Downtown parking decks are the tip of a very large construction iceberg.
City Manager Brynn Myers — joined by administrator Gloria Elder and public relations manager Kiara Knowles — provided updates on dozens of projects Wednesday.
These projects include upgrades to the city’s water and wastewater facilities, an expanded animal shelter, a new solid waste complex, new roads and infrastructure related to new Industrial Park developments and to a new Temple ISD school.
“The city has a lot going on right now,” Myers said, “and it’s going to continue into next year. We are definitely keeping the construction companies busy.”
Here’s a look at what’s going on around town:
Azalea Drive Expansion. This expansion will create a new section of Azalea from South 31st Street, along the north side of Chick-Fil-A to where Azalea ends on the road in front of Walmart.
Currently, traffic turns off South 31st into a segment of the Temple Mall parking lot just south of Dairy Queen. Then, traffic must stop at several stop signs before reaching a row of restaurants and banks on the right and Walmart and Sams on the left.
“Right now, it’s a maze of stop signs,” Myers said. “Eventually, Azalea will run from South 31st all the way to 5th Street. The work on the new section next to Chick-Fil-A will begin by summer and should be completed about nine months after it starts.”
Temple City Council awarded the bid to RT Schneider Co. on May 5 in the amount of $1.02 million.
Airport Hangar Project. A major project at Draughon-Miller Central Texas Regional Airport, aka the Temple airport, will begin by summer and should take about nine months to complete.
The $2.927 million project, awarded to RT Schneider Co. earlier this month, includes the construction of up to five new hangers, a driveway, drainage and a runway taxi extension.
“It’s going to depend on the size of the aircraft that will be stored there,” Myers said. “We anticipate either four or five new hangars.”
Downtown Parking Garages. The 4th Street project started about six weeks ago and is moving along. The 1st Street project, on property owned by Extraco Banks, will begin in the next week or two, Myers said.
“Fencing around the 1st Street location will be put up this coming week,” she said. “We haven’t officially named the garages, but the 1st Street facility likely will be branded with Extraco logos.”
City Centre. The City Centre project — the area around the intersection of 4th and Central — started in April and will be finished in September.
“Right now we are in the utility phase,” Myers said. “That means we are taking power lines underground. Once that is finished we will advertise for bids for landscaping, sidewalk improvements and lighting upgrades. When complete, City Centre will have a similar look to South 1st Street just north of The Yard.”
Those keeping an eye on construction along Central Avenue may not have even noticed the City Centre work. There’s a lot going on in that area with renovations to the Professional Building, the Sears building, the Arcadia Theatre and the old Hawn/Doering Hotel. Also, Bird Creek Burgers is renovating its new 4th Street location, and several other businesses are renovating buildings in the area as well.
Outer Loop Water Tower. A new $7.3 million water tower will be built off the new Outer Loop near the Niagara water bottling plant. This project will start this summer and construction will last about 15 months.
The Bird Creek Trunk Sewer. The final phase of the five-phase project is ready for bidding and the project should last about 18 months. A smaller part of Phase 4 will be finished in August.
“This has been an adventure,” Myers said. “Imagine a road system of sewer lines — trunk lines are the main thoroughfares. The smaller lines feed into the trunk, and it takes wastewater to the treatment plant.”
“This is an old line, and it’s very long,” she said. “The line has holes, and when it rains the line fills with water and we’ve had a problem in the past with sewage spilling out at Lions Park. This will fix that.”
Myers explained that Phase 5 was actually done ahead of Phase 4, so this is the final leg of a very long project.
“This final phase goes through the Bird Creek neighborhood, and we will minimize the impact on the area,” she said.
This final portion of the Bird Creek project is expected to cost about $7.5 million.
Avenue G Pump Station. This is another project that will be awarded this summer and take about 18 months to complete.
“The Avenue G Pump Station distributes water to much of the community,” Myers said. “We are waiting for permits, then we will get this started.”
Cearly to Eberhardt Road Water Line. Designs for this $1.4 million project are about 90 percent complete and a contract will be awarded in July. The project will take about 9 months to complete.
Knob Creek Trunk Sewer Line. The contract for Phase 1 of a three-phase project will likely be awarded in July, and construction is expected to last 18 months.
Solid Waste Complex. This $11.2 project is under way and is expected to be finished by April 2023.
The complex will occupy 14.5 acres of city-owned land off East Avenue H. It will consist of a 32,240-square-foot recycling transfer facility and maintenance building, a 5,500-square-foot administration building, a truck scale and a brush storage area.
A compressed natural gas fueling station that is used by city vehicles and is available to the public, is located in front of the site.
“The project will consolidate facilities, streamline operations and improve public access,” Myers said.
Last year, the city of Temple solid waste division collected 105,769.29 tons — or 211.54 million pounds — of curbside garbage and residential recycling.
Animal Shelter expansion. Perhaps the most anticipated of the Temple city improvement projects, the $3.5 million Temple Animal Shelter expansion will address several issues.
It will increase animal capacity to meet current and future needs by adding 40 dog kennels. The shelter currently has 30 kennels and the majority of the time, they are full.
The project will climatize the current kennel space, and improve customer experiences by creating better pedestrian flow. There will be more yard space for customer and animal interactions, and a new cat room will be constructed.
The current office will be converted into a retail store for supplies, and offices will be moved to another part of the facility.
Cloud Construction will handle construction manager responsibilities, and work is expected to begin in September. The project should be finished by summer 2023.
The shelter will remain open during construction but likely will be modified.
Poison Oak Road. The contract for this $17.7 million project will be awarded in July and the project will take about 21 months to complete, Myers said. The project will improve Poison Oak from Texas 317 to the Old Waco Road (Outer Loop).
“There are two 90-degree turns on the road that will be straightened out to make it safer, and a median will be added from 317 to Charter Oak Elementary,” she said. “The utilities are in place and we are working on drainage, then the project will be ready to bid.”
The project will include a traffic signal at the intersection of Poison Oak and 317, and in the future a signal will be added at the intersection of Poison Oak and Outer Loop.
Range Road Transmission Main. New 24 to 18 inch water lines will move water from the new water tower to areas in the North Industrial Park. The contract for this $3.7 million project will be awarded in July of this year and the project is expected to be completed in a year.
Loop 363 Transmission Main. This is another major water line in the North Industrial Park area. The contract for this $2.13 million project likely will be awarded in August and construction should take about 10 months.
Pepper Creek Wastewater Extension. The contract for this $5.15 million project will likely be awarded in August and construction should take approximately 8 months to complete. This project is in support of the Meta facility that will be built in Temple.
“The project is still in the design stage, but this will provide a wastewater line and a holding pond,” she said. “This will serve Meta as well as other parts of the Industrial Park.”
Water Treatment Plant. This is one of the biggest city projects and it will be completed in spring 2023. Capacity of the current plant is 12 million gallons per day, and this expansion project will boost production to about 25.5 million gallons a day.
“This project will help us meet needs now and in the future,” Myers said.
The plant is located on Parkside Drive and is on the banks of the Leon River.
Water Tower rehabs. Two Temple water towers, one on 25th Street, the other on Apache, will be rehabilitated at a cost of $2.3 million. The projects will take a total of six months and will start after the contract is awarded in September.
“This is something that we do every 10 years,” Myers said. “We usually rehab two towers every year. The tanks will be drained, and the inside of each tank will be relined. If there is any damage, it will be repaired. Once that is complete, the towers get a fresh coat of paint and new city logos.”
Pepper Creek Trunk Upsizing. This project is in the design stage and a contract is expected to be awarded in August for the $4.2 million project. This will increase the capacity of sewer lines along Kegley Road in an area south of Wildflower Country Club. The project will take about eight months to complete.
Charter Oak Waterline. This is a main transition water pipe that moves water from the treatment plant into the city. Testing on the new line has been completed and the new line will be operational by June.
Loop 36s & Lucius McCelvey Waterlines. Waterlines along Loop 363 from I-35 to Range Road and along Lucius McCelvey will be completed in November.
41st Street Wastewater Improvements. This project started on Feb. 14 and will be completed in September.
Avenue C Projects. The Avenue C improvement project should be completed by June. This project is related to the MLK Festival Grounds.
New festival ground signs have been erected on Avenue C, and two buildings along Avenue C at the western end of the festival grounds have been renovated.
One of the buildings, the former Farmer’s Feed & Seed Co. building, will serve as a “green room” for bands that will be performing at the MLK Festival Grounds. Farmer’s Feed & Seed was a distributor for SunGlo seeds and a faded 100-year-old mural on the side of the building has been repainted. A nearby building will serve as festival grounds storage.
Eventually, Avenue C will be improved from Martin Luther King to 24th Street, Myers said.
“That part of the Avenue C project will be bid after right-of-ways are in place,” she said.
Outer Loop North. The Outer Loop should open in September from McLane Parkway to Wendland Road, Myers said.
Blackland Road Extension. This project should be complete by January, and it will serve the new Temple ISD elementary school and fine arts academy that voters approved by passing a bond earlier this month.
The project extends Blackland Road from Little River Road to State Highway 95.
Kegley Road Reconstruction. Phase 2 of this project will be complete in early November, according to Myers. Once it is finished, the bidding process for Phase 3 will begin.
Phase 1 was completed about a year ago and Phase 2 took in a section of Kegley that ended just south of the entrance to Wildflower Country Club. Phase 3 begins at that location and runs to the railroad tracks near Midway Drive.
Sidewalk Projects. Several sidewalk projects in Temple — along portions of Adams, Central and South 31st Street — have been completed or are nearing completion.
The South 31st project involved a bridge over the railroad tracks that was delayed because of COVID-impacted shipping delays. The bridge was installed and opened this month to pedestrian and bicycle traffic.
Temple Public Library. Heating and air conditioning improvements will be made at the library and the $1.3 million project is expected to be finished in December.
Public Safety Training Campus. Expansion to Temple’s Public Safety Training Campus on Airport Road is in the design stage. The expansion will include an indoor shooting range and an evidence storage facility, police training classrooms and a simulation shoot house.
Police instructors will be able to modify the inside of the shoot house to train for a particular need or raid.
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Just horsing around!
Two horses, located just off Avenue H near Loop 363 in East Temple, ham it up for the camera Thursday morning. The horses spent at least 15 minutes playing a fast-paced equine version of ‘Follow the Leader’ and didn’t seem concerned with the hot weather or high gas prices. David Stone photo
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the IT’S FRIDAY SOMEWHERE edition
Get ready to make a splash
Lions Junction Family Water Park and Temple’s three outdoor swimming pools are scheduled to open in the upcoming weeks. All splash pads are now open.
Lions Junction will be open May 28-30, then open for the summer season on June 4. The park’s regular schedule will be Tuesday through Saturday from noon to 8 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.
Season passes are now on-sale online.
Clark Pool, Walker Pool and the Summit Recreation Center outdoor pool will open June 4.
The aquatics staff will offer swim lessons this summer. Details are available online.
TEMPLE ISD NEWS
By JON WALLIN, Special to Our Town Temple
May 26 will be a district-wide early release day
Temple High School graduation will be May 28 at 10 a.m. at the Bell County Expo Center
Bonham Middle School
Sixth and seventh grade awards ceremonies will be May 23
Choir’s spring show will be May 25 at 6:30 p.m. at the THS Auditorium
Fifth grade graduation will be May 23
Kindergarten graduation will be May 24
First, second, third and fourth grade awards will be May 25
First, second, third and fourth grade awards will be May 24
Kindergarten graduation will be May 25
Fifth grade graduation will be May 26
First and third grade awards will be May 24
Second and fourth grade awards will be May 25
Fifth grade and kindergarten graduations will be May 25
First and third grade awards will be May 23
Second and fourth grade awards will be May 24
Kindergarten and fifth grade graduations will be May 24
Field day will be May 25
Lamar Middle School
Sixth grade awards will be May 23
Seventh grade awards will be May 24
Eighth grade awards parade will be May 25
Meridith-Dunbar Early Childhood Academy
Graduation ceremonies will be held May 23, 24 and 25 by class
First and fourth grade awards will be May 23
Kindergarten graduation will be May 23
Second and third grade awards will be May 24
Fifth grade graduation will be May 24
First, second, third and fourth grade awards will be May 23
Field Day will be May 24
Kindergarten and fifth grade graduation will be May 25
Talent Show will be May 26 at 9:30 a.m.
Temple High School
THS Choir Soundcheck will be May 20 and 21 at 7:30 p.m. each night in the THS Auditorium
THS Band will hold its chamber concert on May 23 at 7 p.m. in the THS Band Hall
THS Percussion Ensemble will perform its spring concert on May 24 at 7 p.m. in the THS Auditorium
Travis Science Academy
Eighth grade awards ceremony will be May 23
Sixth and seventh grade awards will be May 25
Western Hills Elementary
Field day will be May 20
Kindergarten graduation will be May 24
First and second grade awards will be May 24
Fifth grade graduation will be May 25
Third and fourth grade awards will be May 25
Jon Wallin is the public information director for Temple ISD
BELTON ISD NEWS
By KAREN RUDOLPH, Special to Our Town Temple
Wednesday is the last day of school and an early release day. BECS will dismiss at 12:50 p.m., elementary schools at 1:05 p.m., middle schools at 1:45 p.m., Belton New Tech High School @ Waskow at 2:13 p.m. and Belton High School and Lake Belton High School at 2:25 p.m.
Parents are asked to make plans to pick up their child’s medication from the school nurse’s office before the last day of school on Wednesday. Medications remaining in the clinic after the last day of school will be destroyed.
Commencement ceremonies for the Class of 2022 will take place on Thursday at the Bell County Expo Center. Belton New Tech High School @Waskow will hold a graduation ceremony at 9 a.m. followed by Belton High School at 1 p.m. Both ceremonies will be live streamed on Spectrum channel 17 and at www.bisd.net/graduation.
Belton High School
The annual senior walk tradition will begin at 9 a.m. on Monday and be followed by the senior breakfast.
The spring choir concert will be at 5:30 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center.
Tuesday is Back to Elementary Day for seniors where students will visit their former elementary school one last time while wearing their cap and gown.
The senior awards ceremony will be from 1:55-3:30 p.m. on Tuesday at the Performing Arts Center.
Lake Belton High School
The choir spring show and awards ceremony will be at 7 p.m. on Monday at the Performing Arts Center.
Belton New Tech High @ Waskow
Senior Fun Day is on Monday.
Senior Elementary Day is on Tuesday where students will visit their former elementary school one last time while wearing their cap and gown.
Senior breakfast and senior walk will be on Wednesday.
Belton Middle School
Award ceremonies will be on Monday at 9 a.m. for sixth grade and 1:30 p.m. for seventh grade and on Tuesday at 9 a.m. for eighth grade.
Lake Belton Middle School
Award ceremonies will be on Monday at 8:30 a.m. for sixth grade and 1:30 p.m. for seventh grade and on Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. for eighth grade.
North Belton Middle School
The National Junior Honor Society induction ceremony is at 6 p.m. on Monday in the gym.
The eighth grade recognition ceremony will be at 9 a.m. on Wednesday in the gym.
South Belton Middle School
The cheer showcase will be at 6 p.m. on Monday.
High Point Elementary School
The school-wide talent show is on Monday.
Monday is the fifth grade celebration field trip.
Kindergarten Round Up for incoming kindergarten students in the 2022-2023 school year is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Aug. 2.
Leon Heights Elementary School
Tuesday is field day.
Field day and class parties will be held on Monday.
Sparta Elementary School
Kindergarten graduation is at 8:30 a.m. on Monday in the cafeteria.
Fifth graders will take their final walk around Sparta at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday.
Belton Early Childhood School
The ‘On Our Way to Kindergarten’ walk will be at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday.
Karen Rudolph is the Belton ISD communications specialist
Friday’s best bets
Joel Wood w/ Cody Ellinger live at Fire Base Brewing. 7:30 p.m.
Temple Community Treasures Visual Art Exhibition Reception at Czech Heritage Museum & Genealogy Center. 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. This event will feature free snacks and beverages, a viewing of the art submissions, and the presentation of prizes in the photo and painting contests.
Karaoke night at Corky’s. Songs start at 8 pm.
Laughs & Drafts Comedy Tour at FoxDog. 7:30 p.m. Head out to FoxDog Cafe & Beer Garden for some laughs and great drinks! Guest host, South Philly Reef, will be running the event featuring comedians Dillon Popp and Sam Noorani and headliner Alex Cunningham! This is a free event for the community! Recommended age is 18+.
To include your events in What’s Happening, email information to OurTownTemple@gmail.com. Photos are welcome to for use in the publication as space permits!