All Construction, All the Time

Leander, Cedar Park and LHS campus expands and undergoes changes


Siandhara Bonnet

Construction workers finishing the new science building.

by Siandhara Bonnet, Editor-in-Chief

Construction has taken over the immediate area: the new science building and courtyard, wider lanes from 1431 to Kettering, and the strip mall across from the school. But wait, that’s not all!

The city of Cedar Park has confirmed development of a Chipotle Mexican Grill and BJ’s Brewhouse by Costco on 183, and Randalls grocery store on Whitestone Boulevard.

Around School:

  • Science building – 16 new, state-of-the-art science classrooms, and a new front office/attendance office
  • On the inside – the former front office area has been renovated to become an extended cafeteria, the band halls and choir rooms were updated, HVAC completely renovated
  • Courtyard – a new open courtyard with covered learning areas
  • Bagdad Road – from 1431 to Kettering Drive, the street in front of Bible Stadium is scheduled to be completed in December
  • Shops at Leander – directly across from LHS

The science building and other improvements to the school will be completed before school begins August 25.

“We are excited about the construction and our new and improved building,” Principal Tiffany Spicer said. “The district put a lot of time and resources into updating our building and merging all of our building and numbering together to make us more up-to-date.”

Some other improvements to the school include a new air conditioning system, choir room, theatre room black box, and gym floors.

“The cafeteria was expanded and there have been upgrades throughout the entire building,” Spicer said. “Classrooms have been refreshed, the band hall and dance studio have been updated.”

The courtyard will have a few trees left over from the original area, and new covered awnings that will attach the new science wing to the original building for weather protection. There will also be an outdoor learning area for teachers to have class that is covered with built-in step seating. Additionally, there will be a new large covered area with picnic style seating where students can eat lunch.

“I think the student, faculty, and staff are going to be amazed,” Spicer said. “I think it has been worth the wait and the sacrifice. We are so excited about the building and our new beginning.”

Road construction from RM 1431 to Kettering Drive includes a cross section that will include wide outer lanes for bicycles, turn lane improvements at intersections, streetlights, and sidewalks. Construction began in September 2013 and is on track for December 2014 completion.

“Bagdad Road will still be one lane in each direction until the completion of the project, so the traffic patterns will be pretty much the same as last school year,” senior engineering associate Alan Green said.

Across the way, Shops at Leander is completed. There has been one application for Bahama Bucks, but, according to senior planner Robin Griffin, there are no other confirmed tenants.

Grab some grub:

  • Chipotle Mexican Grill – in the strip center near In-N-Out
  • BJ’s Brewhouse – on 1431 in the Costco parking lot
  • Panera Bread
  • Serranos

According to Community Impact, the Cedar Park Town Center is also in development, including BJ’s Brewhouse and Chipotle Mexican Grill. They are said to be open by this fall.

Shopping centers:

  • Randalls – near Whitestone Elementary in the Crystal Falls community
  • The Shops at Crystal Falls – new tenants include Jack Brown Cleaners and OnQ Nails
  • The Shops at Steiner Ranch

The Randalls grocery store will open in Leander near the corner of Lakeline Boulevard and Crystal Falls Parkway by early 2016, according to the development agreement approved by City Council on October 4. A lot of the 55-acre development needs to be excavated, leveled, and landscaped for the store, including tree removal. The store’s plans, however, exceeds general landscaping requirements, saving as many trees as they can. Negotiations took more than four years, but came to an agreement.

Slightly east of Randalls, there will also be a retail center and automotive care center called The Shops at Crystal Falls by Huntington Properties. According to the site plans, it offers 19,240 square feet of leasable space with two drive-thru areas. Huntington Properties is also developing two similar centers, one being The Shops at Steiner Ranch, featuring a convenience store, dry cleaners, eateries, liquor store, financial adviser, and medical offices.

For more information, visit the City of Cedar Park’s website, or the City of Leander’s website. See also Hill Country News, and Community Impact.