Radford City Council approved relocating one of its four precincts to a nearby church in an effort to streamline the process for voters.

The Central District polling place was located at the city’s fire station on Wadsworth Street but has been moved to First Baptist Church on Rock Road, because parking at the station was no longer adequate, according to Registrar Tracy Howard.

“As more equipment has been added to the station the parking situation became an issue. There were fender benders and it was just becoming too much,” he said.

There were also concerns about meeting American Disability Act requirements at the station depending on how it was set up. The move shouldn’t be a problem for voters as the church is right around the corner from the fire house and has more than enough parking spots, Howard said.

City spokesperson Jenni Wilder added that increased demand on the station with the rescue services and additional employees made it a less than desirable location for voters.

The city also added the New River District polls at Grove United Methodist Church in December to help offset the East District at the city’s rec center from having to serve more than half of Radford’s 10,000 registered voters. The West District is still located at Carter United Methodist Church.

The districts are more evenly distributed than before, which will prevent overcrowding and long waits on certain election days, Howard said.

Also passed at Monday night’s meeting was allowing the school board to move forward with its request for bids on architectural and engineering services for the design of McHarg Elementary and other projects in the system’s comprehensive plan, including projects at the high school and Dalton Intermediate.

Mayor David Horton said that the city will not necessarily accept any of the bids as factors such as cost and meeting the school divisions needs are just some of the factors that will be considered when choosing a firm. City and school officials have said they project bids to come in at under $1 million, but can’t be certain until the process is over.

The McHarg project is estimated to cost approximately $16 million, a price superintendent Robert Graham has only increased since it was first brought to the city council’s attention nearly a decade ago. The school, built in the 1950s, has seen little to no renovations since its opening.

The details of the proposal are available at www.rcps.org. Bids will be accepted until 2 p.m. Thursday, July 25, according to the school system’s Facebook page.

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Sam Wall covers Pulaski, Radford and Radford University.

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