Grant would fund sidewalks to schools

By jeanne starmack


The school district is preparing to apply for a state grant to build sidewalks on busy Shannon Road and other roads near the junior-senior-high complex.

The Safe Routes to Schools grant application will be a joint effort between the schools and the city, school board member Richard Rees said after the board of education meeting Wednesday evening.

“The grant will allow up to $500,000 for sidewalks and other traffic safety improvements, and from our standpoint, that is sidewalks on all or part of Shannon Road coming north from Churchill Road,” he said.

“There is a posted limit of 35 mph, but you know how people are ... they’re in a hurry because they’re running late,” he said. “We want to make it safe.”

Rees said the city and school district will share the costs for CT Consultants, an engineering firm, to develop the application. He said the idea of applying for the grant is not new. It dates back to 2008-09, when then-superintendent Joe Jeswald spearheaded the effort.

Jeswald retired in 2011.

The school district got sidetracked by other issues during that time, including construction of the junior-senior-high building, Rees said.

Rees also said the school district is concerned about a block of Gary Avenue that does not have a sidewalk. Gary Avenue leads to the back entrance of the schools complex. He said parts of Stull and Park avenues might be included.

He also said the elementary and intermediate schools on Prospect Street would benefit with new signs, paint for crosswalks and repairs to missing sidewalks.

“We are still establishing priorities for the money,” he said.

He said the deadline for the next round of applications is in January.

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