Possible Improvements Coming to North University

Published 04/21 2014 05:49PM

Updated 04/21 2014 10:47PM

By Monica Yantosh

LUBBOCK, TX -- On Thursday, Lubbock City Council could vote to approve a little more than a million dollars to be used on improvements to North University.

The money would be used to improve sidewalks, curbs, and possibly even adding more street light, if the budget allows.

This is in Councilman Victor Hernandez's district, and the plan is for the project to stretch from the Marsha Sharp Freeway up to about Amherst on North University. That's about a half of a mile stretch of road.

Councilman Hernandez calls the project a complete facelift for that part of University, saying it's been a few years in the works.  He said about $750,000 is coming from a 1999 bond election, where money was approved for improvements to North University.

There's also going to be about $500,000 coming from federal funds for the project.

"It's going to spruce up the area, it's going to give folks in the adjacent neighborhoods an opportunity to get even more pride in their neighborhood, so it's a good thing," Councilman Hernandez said.

He hopes this will be the first of multiple phases to improve that area.

"Well to me it's critically important because we need to continue the facelift that's been occurring south of Marsha Sharp Freeway on over to north of Marsha Sharp Freeway, and to me this is phase one," Councilman Hernandez said.  He said phase two would be the next half a mile north.

He also said if approved, there could be some impact on drivers, though he hopes not as much as how it's impacted traffic on 34th Street during that construction.

"The cuts in the curb and gutter here are not going to be anywhere near what happened on 34th Street, because most of it is going to be on the sidewalk area, so there's going to be a bit of a disruption but hopefully not too much," Councilman Hernandez said.

Overall, Councilman Hernandez said if approved, the project could take about a year before completion.

Another item City Council will consider is also right on North University. Old Fire Station #4 is now planned to be a Hispanic Cultural Center.

The building is now owned by Fiestas Del Llano, a non-profit group, and on Thursday, City Council will vote on whether or not to give them about $200,000 in federal funds to fix up the building.

Sam Harper, chair of the Fiestas Del Llano board, said this is a project that has been having some good feedback from some people in nearby neighborhoods.

"Response in the neighborhood is super optimistic, they would like to have the center open and they would like to have the center productive and they would like to have activities going on here," Harper said.

He hopes, if the money is approved, to have this completed within a year.

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