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Longview ISD considers spending up to $900K on road repairs at high school

By Richard Yeakley
Nov. 17, 2013 at 10 p.m.

Longview ISD is considering spending up to $900,000 to redo the drive at Longview High School that goes from the guard shack to the breezeway.

Assistant Superintendent Lynn Marshall floated the idea of repaving the road with concrete to the board of trustees at a recent meeting. He received a go-ahead to begin looking into the project.

"The thickness of the remaining asphalt that's there, it is just deteriorating into the soil. It's just so thin - this is a little bit of an exaggeration - but you can almost take your boot heel out there and hit real hard and drive a hole through the remaining asphalt that is covering the base," Marshall said.

He said he had done a minimal amount of investigation to give trustees a scope of the project, and a local civil engineer from Johnson and Pace gave a top-side estimate of about $900,000 for the project.

"Ever since I have been in the district, we have been patching on it in house. We have not really spent any money as far as hiring contractors, and frankly I would hope you would be in favor of the concrete as opposed to the asphalt. There is very little difference in cost anyway," Marshall told trustees.

Trustees signaled interest in the project.

"I think it is a good idea," Trustee Chris Mack said. "That drive is terrible, and I think our facility just doesn't look good. That's a flagship school, and that drive is just terrible, and I think that should be a high priority. ... It's terrible. I am embarrassed for people to drive in that way."

The proposed project, still in its conceptual stages, would include the circle that breaks off the roadway and heads toward the stadium, but would not extend pass the breezeway.

After receiving approval, Marshall will seek input from a civil engineering firm for a timeline and cost estimate of the proposed project.

Mack asked Marshall if the work could be done during the next summer break.

"I asked the civil engineer. He said it could be a trick, but we might could get to it before then," Marshall said. "Obviously, as bad as shape as it is in, we would like to start as soon as we can. It would just be like working a crossword puzzle to try to figure out how to manipulate the flow of traffic."

Mack and Trustee Mark Camp agreed that because the high school draws more out-of-district guests than other campuses, it is important to keep the campus looking good.

"People from all over this part of Texas come to that campus and I bet a lot of them go, 'My God, the parking lot drive way is horrible,' " Mack said.

If approved, it will not be the first time the district has replaced asphalt lanes with concrete.

"If you recall, we spent a substantial amount of money this past summer out at Johnston McQueen doing all of that parking lot, so now we are full concrete out there," Marshall said. "It was not my motivation to do that just to make it look better. It was torn up, it needed to be replaced. It is also my opinion that once we put concrete in as opposed to asphalt, we are finished with it for a long, long time. Longer than we will be around."

Marshall said that if approved, he would suggest the project be paid for out of a designated fund balance for projects of that nature.



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