Update May 14, 2020
Dripping Springs ISD has continued the planning process for our fifth elementary school to be built on district property near the intersection of Darden Hill Road and Sawyer Ranch Road. The district has owned 155 acres southeast of that intersection for approximately a decade; the project was included in the bond program approved by voters two years ago (May 2018).
Last fall, we formed a Community Input Committee of residents from the Darden Hill/Sawyer Ranch area to provide feedback on our planning process. The input from this group and comments heard during larger community meetings have been considered during every step of this process.
The elementary school will be built in the southwest portion of DSISD’s property. The district has worked with our architects to select a location that maintains a natural barrier of vegetation and a substantial buffer area between homes on Enchanted Oak and the school.
There also has been a lot of discussion regarding the entry for the school, both in terms of traffic flow and as it relates to a large tree near the Darden Hill Road/Sawyer Ranch Road intersection. The district has been working closely with traffic consultants, engineers, and Hays County officials regarding options for the entry as it relates to that intersection.
The county has indicated plans to establish a roundabout at the intersection, and based on recommendations from the district’s and county’s project engineers, we have determined that the entrance to Elementary #5 needs to align with the circle. The engineers are currently updating designs that will keep the large tree at that location intact and maximize the traffic efficiency on Darden Hill Road. The district is working closely with the county regarding the timing of that project and the opening of the school to ensure we will be prepared to handle the traffic flow.
The school district and the county each have conducted traffic studies of this area. Our traffic consultants studied the current traffic flow at various times of day, and are currently updating their analysis to account for the future roundabout.
With board approval of Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) #1 for Elementary #5 on May 11, preliminary site work and staging is starting immediately. DSISD plans to open the school for the 2021-22 school year.