By Gail Peckler-Dziki


Department of Transportation officials met with representatives from the Village of Paddock Lake and Central High School late last month to discuss design plans for the rebuilding of Highway 50 in the village.

Central High School District Administrator Dr. Scott Pierce explained that there are two main parts to the project, design and construction. “The DOT is 25 percent on the design of the road. The DOT is still working on negotiations with some landowners.”

The scope of the road improvements is from the intersection of highways 50 and 83 to 236th Avenue. Pierce said the road project is not a major rebuild, but the improvements include grinding the top layer of blacktop and replacing it. The plan is to widen the intersection at 50 and 83 and add turning lanes.

The DOT had wanted Central to foot the bill for some of the changes to Highway 50, including a longer turn lane for westbound traffic turning south onto Highway 83. That lane is part of the planned state improvements on Highway 50.

Also included is a westbound left-hand turn lane into the east Central entrance, a right hand turn lane onto 83 from eastbound traffic from Highway 50 and a right hand turn lane from 83 for eastbound on Highway 50.

Walgreens and the property directly across from Walgreens and the high school will all be affected by the widening of the intersection. Changes will more than likely affect the bike and footpath extension planned to run from the existing path along Highway 83.

The school has received a $392,00 state grant for the project, which is an 80/20 percent grant. That means the district is responsible for 20 percent of the cost, or $80,000.

Paddock Lake Village Administrator Tim Popanda said that the village worked with the school to receive the grant.

Pierce said the district has asked to delay the path extension while keeping the grant money available. “When we find out if the grant money will still be available if we delay, then we will ask the village for an extension on the conditional use permit governing the project.”

Popanda said, “If the path project is allowed to be delayed, that will reduce design costs to the district, since part of the path will be included in DOT plans.”

The village has requested that part of the road improvement project be replacing the blacktop middle of the island partitions at the high school and 236th Avenue with soil.

“We would then have plants in those islands and channel storm water to those islands. They would be like mini-rain gardens and help the village meet clean water requirements. We are all about keeping the lakes clean.”

DOT had wanted Central to foot the bill for some of the changes to highway 50, including a turn lane for westbound traffic turning south onto Highway 83. Now the state will include that exact requirement in the Highway 50 improvements.


Expectations slow

In 2005, Central received a study that estimated its school population to reach 1,400 by 2014. A recent look at the student population shows it staying flat until 2020. The student counts for the third Friday in September, the official count by which the state decides the state aid amount, was 1,189.

The plan was to have the design portion of this project completed and construction started by 20113, but that date has now been pushed back to 2015.


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