Construction became the focal point of Tuesday night's school board meeting. City officials talked about creating a roundabout next year and Turner Construction officials talked about the final phases at Bradley High School before it opens in the fall.

Construction became the focal point of Tuesday night's school board meeting. City officials talked about creating a roundabout next year and Turner Construction officials talked about the final phases at Bradley High School before it opens in the fall.

Letty Schamp, a city engineer, updated the board on the Hilliard Triangle Project, which includes two roundabouts.

The last time a roundabout presentation was done for the school board was in 2006.

Construction on the $7-million project, funded with a combination of grants and loans, is set to begin in March 2010. The city hopes to have the project completed by August 2011, according to Schamp.

One primary reason for the roundabout is safety, she said.

Initially, she said, people objected to the roundabout because of pedestrian safety.

Roundabouts are safer for pedestrians, said Schamp, because there are fewer conflict points than with traditional signalized intersections. Traditional signalized intersections, she said, have 16 points of pedestrian and vehicle conflict, while the roundabouts have eight points of conflict.

Traffic moves slower in a roundabout, according to Schamp, and cars are only coming from one direction at a time.

It is easy to determine gaps in traffic, there are fewer lanes to cross and a splitter island provides refuge for groups of pedestrians or bicyclists.

"We are really crunched on space in this project, because it is such a tight project," she said. "We don't have as much space to work with as we did at Davidson and Britton."

Some of the school considerations, she said, include an extended school zone on Cemetery, Main and Scioto Darby, construction of additional parking on the eastern side of Hilliard Station, directional change of traffic flow at Hilliard Station to improve the ingress and egress, reconstruction of the bus driveway in front of Memorial and proximity of roadway to the corner of Hilliard Station.

The roadway will be a lot closer to Hilliard Station than it is currently, Schamp said.

Initially it was even closer than now planned, she said, but after discussions with assistant superintendent Tim Hamilton and business affairs director Jeff Franklin, changes were made to the design. It will be 29 feet from the roadway edge to the corner of the building.

Schamp said the Dairy Queen, across Main Street is 29 feet from the edge of the roadway and the people who dine outside are even closer.

The roundabout at Scioto Darby and Main Street is expected to be built first.

On the school front, Heather Cassady of Turner Construction Co. said furniture is being moved into Bradley High School.

Using aerial and closeup shots of the site, Cassady demonstrated the difference in the site and building since board members visited in March.

Grass is starting to grow and sod was put down outside the commons entrance last week.

The media center has been completed. Speakers are in place in the music rooms, while the counter tops in the serving area and equipment in the kitchen are ready to feed students. In the gymnasium, the emblem in the middle of the floor has been finished.

"I was just in there last week," board president Denise Bobbitt said. "It is really exciting to see."

In other news from the board meeting, Bryan Moore of Columbus said his daughter and four other Hilliard students were accepted to Metro Early College High School in March.

Moore said his daughter signed her letter of intent and six weeks later, last week, he was notified by secondary education director Steve Estep that the funding for the program had been cut.

A lottery is used to gain entrance to the school, which focuses on science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Three hundred students from Franklin County applied for the 100 available seats, according to Moore, and his daughter wrote a paper for her acceptance.

Moore said that Estep explained that the district will continue to fund the 15 seats of currently enrolled students, but will not fund incoming students.

Moore said he is willing to pay the fees of $6,000 for the first year if the district will ensure that his daughter has a seat next year.

Bobbitt directed Moore to assistant superintendent Andy Riggle to determine what could be done.

catwogan@yahoo.com