Orange Township is in the final stages of putting a plan in place to alleviate traffic problems on Orange Road, near Olentangy school buildings, district facilities director Andy Kerr told the Olentangy school board Tuesday night.

Orange Township is in the final stages of putting a plan in place to alleviate traffic problems on Orange Road, near Olentangy school buildings, district facilities director Andy Kerr told the Olentangy school board Tuesday night.

One of the final pieces needed to start construction on three roundabouts on Orange Road, between Old State and Bale Kenyon roads, is enough land -- five acres -- to complete the projects, Kerr said. And, the township would like the land for free from its owner, Olentangy Local Schools.

The district would like to oblige, said the five board members, because the roundabouts would make it safer for buses and other drivers entering and exiting district schools in that area.

The only problem is the district bought the land in question; it was not donated by developers like several other school sites.

The district paid about $38,000 an acre for the land for Orange Middle School and Orange High School, which sit next to each other.

The district paid about $58,000 an acre for the land for the elementary school under construction at the intersection of Orange and Bale Kenyon, Kerr said.

"If this was donated land this would be easy," said board member Teri Meider. "We need to be careful about giving it away."

Board vice president Dimon McFerson agreed.

"We had to pay for it ... but we also need to be mindful" of cooperating with the townships and cities within the school district's boundaries, he said.

The safety benefits the roundabouts would bring also have a value attached to them, McFerson said. He asked Kerr to check if the township would pay the cost of the land "minus some value for the safety benefits."

Board member Julie Wagner-Feasel also had a problem with gifting the land to the township.

She expressed concern that as a district resident, she already paid for the land with her school taxes and would be asked to pay for it again as an Orange Township resident.

Any money received, Kerr said, would be credited back to the bond fund to be used for future land purchases.

Board member Jennifer Smith asked that any money received be used to retire existing bond debt.

One of the roundabouts would go at the entrance to Orange Middle School.

It would alleviate the problems of those heading west and trying to cross traffic to enter the school, and those exiting and trying to go west on Orange Road, Kerr said.

The second would go at Walker Woods Boulevard, just east of Orange High School, which opens in the fall, and would help traffic in the same manner as the middle school.

The third roundabout would be at the entrance to the elementary school, making it easier for buses and parents entering or leaving the property, Kerr said.

That project would be done first, he said, because it would impact traffic at the school's entrance during construction.

Kerr said he will approach township officials with the board's concerns and see what can be worked out. He will report back to the board at its June 10 meeting.

cpreston@thisweeknews.com