The designated location of the parking lot off Bee Creek Road infringed upon the habitat of warbler species, delaying LTISD’s construction schedule.
“We were waiting until the nesting season for this species had passed,” Superintendent Brad Lancaster said.
The golden-cheeked warbler is listed as an endangered species by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
The board approved a participation contract Aug. 21 with the Balcones Canyonlands Conservation verifying the nesting season is over, which would allow LTISD to begin the parking lot construction in September.
This permit comes at no cost to the district, according to Amber King, LTISD's general counsel for legal services. The fee is waived for certain government entities, including public school districts.
Per the contract, LTISD is required to cease construction activity if any new habitats are found and contact the local U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services. The schedule to clear the vegetation must take place between Sept. 1 through Feb. 28 or March 1 through Aug. 31, so as to not disturb nesting seasons.
“We try to preserve some pretty good-sized trees in that area,” said Robert Winovitch director of facilities and construction, adding that the warbler species are fond of cedar trees.