Owyhee High School opening on time despite unfinished road projects

Posted at 4:19 PM, Aug 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-03 10:06:10-04

MERIDIAN, Idaho — Final touches are coming together for the upcoming school year at Owyhee High School, but some road projects nearby are behind schedule as more than 1,400 students prepare to attend this new school.

That means there may be increased traffic when kids are headed to and from school.

“They may just plan, need to plan the morning, for an extra ten minutes, but we’re going to make sure they know where it’s happening and when it’s happening, where to park, all of that will be communicated in the weeks leading up to the start of school,” Char Jackson, the Chief Communication Officer for the West Ada School District, said.

There are a few projects happening now and are scheduled to be complete before school starts on August 26, including the widening of McMillan Road at Owyhee Storm.

A few projects will be ongoing through November. At the intersection of Star and McMillan, a traffic light will be installed and both roads will be widened to three lanes. Ustick Road and McDermott Road will also be widened.

As BoiseDev reported, The Ada County Highway District (ACHD) said all of these projects were supposed to be complete before Owyhee High School could open. Jackson said the City of Meridian has granted occupancy for Owyhee High School, meaning they can open on time.

ACHD provided us with a statement on the delay and plan to open Owyhee High School on time despite road improvement projects still under construction.

"ACHD will continue to provide support in any way feasible to help West Ada School District meet their agreed-upon transportation improvement requirements as quickly as possible and based on the planned mitigation efforts provided by West Ada, confirms that the conditions of approval related to transportation improvements are satisfactory to ACHD."

Jackson said these projects were delayed for several reasons.

“We did put something out to bid and we did not receive any bids back so that was part of the delay,” she said.

Other reasons included working with multiple agencies and COVID-19, she said. ACHD added that contractor availability and area growth contributed to the delay as well.

Work is also still being done to prepare the building for students, but that’s expected to wrap up right before the first day.

“We’re getting furniture in place, some of the classroom furniture—classroom desks—aren’t here yet but they will be here next week,” Jackson said.

There will be an open house at Owyhee High School on August 17 for students and parents from 4-8 PM and a ribbon cutting on August 19. For more information, click here.