Urbana school board seeks analysis of traffic-flow issues near high school

Urbana school board seeks analysis of traffic-flow issues near high school

URBANA — Longstanding traffic-flow issues outside Urbana's middle and high schools have district leaders in search of a consultant to study the issue.

That will be among several tasks the district hopes the chosen firm can help improve long term, Superintendent Don Owen said after the school board gave its blessing this week.

"One of the reasons we want to have this ready is to have something 'shovel-ready,' in case funding drops into our laps," Owen said.

High on the district's priority list for a consultant to examine is traffic flow during student drop-off and pickup, as well as parking accessibility, which is currently limited.

Additionally, the board wants plans for how Urbana can more effectively use outdoor spaces so that students are brought outside more frequently, as well as the possible remodeling or creation of a new Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM) lab or classroom space.

Owen said other stakeholders are also to be included in the studies.

"One of the things we want is there to be an understanding that there will be quite a bit of engagement with this community," he said. "We're expecting them to be a piece of this engagement."

Possible stakeholders include the Urbana Park District, Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District and the Urbana school-based health center, among others.

After the consultant is hired and the study completed, the board will decide which recommendations to prioritize.