By Mason W. Canales
Killeen Daily Herald
COPPERAS COVE — The city will name a roadway after Robert Griffin III, this year's Heisman trophy winner and former Bulldawg football standout, after the Five Hills shopping center developer choose to abide by the city's request.
"I think the city and Robert Griffin III will appreciate this," said Councilman Gary Kent, one of two council members who spoke in favor of the roadway being named after the former Baylor quarterback. "I think this is something that people from all around will come to see how our hometown man is appreciated here."
Tuesday night, the city council drafted a letter to H-E-B, which is developing a portion of the future Five Hills shopping center, that would warn the grocery chain of the city's desire to change the name of a spine road being constructed through the development.
However, a representative from the land's majority developer company, Endeavor Real Estate and a member of C-Cove 90 Partners, David Campbell, told the council the letter wasn't necessary as it now agrees to name the roadway after Griffin.
"If it is the majority of the city council's desire to rename that roadway," the developer will do so, said Campbell.
The developer, C-Cove 90 Partners, originally planned to name street Heisman Way to honor Griffin receiving the award, but several council members and residents vocally opposed the name in June, asking that it be changed to RGIII or Robert Griffin III.
"Heisman Way doesn't honor Robert Griffin," said Jim Schmitz in June. It honors Heisman or the award. There are many winners of the college football trophy, but only one of them is from Copperas Cove, and that is what needs to be recognized, he added.
At the time, Campbell said the developer was hesitant to name it after Griffin because he is early in his career and there is no telling what may happen in his future.
But for Schmitz, Kent and a number of residents who publicly spoke out about the naming of the road said the future doesn't matter as much as what he has already accomplished.
"We are paying this tribute to him, because of something he has done," said Kent, noting he believed Griffin will continue to be an upstanding person in the future. "I think this young man deserves this. Each person that wins the Heisman stands up to that merit on his own."
According to city and Copperas Cove Economic Development Corporation documents, the road will have a T-intersection with U.S. Highway 190 and take traffic south to Martin Luther King Boulevard during the first phase of construction and Old Copperas Cove Road on the second phase.
The road will have four 11-foot lanes and a 14-foot painted median that will be marked with turn lines for driveways to retail stores, once it is completed, said Chris Stewart, the Stewart City Planning LLC, the city consultant for city planning.
The project also includes sidewalks and landscaping, according to city documents.
"It gives (the developer) a big thumb up in the eyes of the citizens," said Kent about the changing of the proposed name. "They have heard our outcry and they were willing to work with the city council."
Contact Mason W. Canales at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7474. Follow him on Twitter at KDHCoveEditor.