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Quarry Street widening could make room for Gainesville walkers, runners
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Quarry Street is 30 feet wide in the Gainesville city limits. Plans call for widening another section of it to provide room for cross country runners as well as walkers. - photo by RON BRIDGEMAN

Students at Lakeview Academy and Gainesville Middle School may have a new cross country training spot in the fall, and residents in the neighborhood between the two schools would have a new walking path if widening of Quarry Street can be done this summer.

The Hall County Board of Commissioners, Gainesville City Schools, Lakeview Academy and Gainesville Parks and Recreation have agreed to split the cost of widening about a 1,400-foot stretch of Quarry Street, though they have yet to sign an official agreement.

Ken Rearden, director of public works for the county, said Monday the county would manage and design the project. The road widening would be “hopefully constructed while school’s out,” he said.

An intergovernmental agreement is being developed and is expected to be presented to the Hall County Board of Commissioners at its May 26 meeting.

The project is estimated to cost about $62,000, Rearden said, and if it were to be more, the four agencies would also divide that cost equally.

Quarry Street, which runs by the back entrance of Gainesville Middle School, would be widened from 22 feet to 30 feet, Rearden said, providing for a walking/biking lane on either side. The road becomes Lakeview Drive past the middle school.

At the city limits, the road already is 30 feet wide.

“Our middle school students will have a safe path for possible walking to school and for cross country track practice,” Wanda Creel, Gainesville superintendent, told the board recently when it agreed to participate in the project.

Hall Commissioner Jeff Stowe, who represents the area, said he was asked about the project by officials at Lakeview Academy about a year ago.

He noted it would serve multiple purposes — providing a walking path to Frances Meadows Aquatic Center and giving area residents a pedestrian walkway.

The widening would be “a great benefit” to the area, Stowe said.

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