A major real-estate development going in near Millard North High School will change the route to school for some parents and students.
Millard school board President Mike Kennedy said Monday that the new route will be safer for students driving east on Pacific Street to campus.
Last week the Omaha City Council approved zoning changes, a development agreement and other plans for the $1.2 billion, nearly 500-acre development adjacent to the Millard North campus at 144th and Pacific Streets.
As proposed by developer Jay Noddle, the mixed-use development will have multiple neighborhoods, apartments, commercial buildings, a hotel, open space and a park and a dining area.
Millard school board members voted 6-0 on Monday night to approve a memorandum of understanding with the developer that outlines several changes coming to campus, including the new route.
The agreement calls for the developer to install an access road between campus and a new parkway to be built immediately west of the campus.
Students driving east on Pacific Street will turn left onto the parkway at a new traffic light and then take a right on the new access road to reach school parking lots on the west side of campus. The new parkway will be located about 800 feet west of the current left-turn lane that students take to enter campus from Pacific Street.
Kennedy said the lack of a traffic light at the existing Pacific Street access is a safety concern.
“If someone’s flying up and over that hill on 144th, and the teen driver isn’t cutting it that quick or is inattentive for some reason, you could get a nasty left-hand-turn accident there,” he said. “Our kids are now going to have the benefit of a light and a left-hand-turn signal.”
Under the agreement the developer is also giving the district a 1.5-acre parcel at the northwest corner of campus to be used as a practice field.
The developer will spend about $55,000 to clear and grade the field site and $245,900 to build the access road. The district will spend about $300,000 to seed the new practice field and install an irrigation system, storm sewer and other improvements.
The agreement indicates that the district is also planning to make changes to the entrance from 144th Street and to add parking at the southeast side of campus at a cost of $274,100.
Noddle, who attended Monday’s meeting, said he is pleased with the cooperation from the community.
“We’re going to do everything we can to be great neighbors,” he said.