The nearly $350,000 the city of Riverside was awarded earlier this year with Safe Routes to School grants to improve safety for Mad River Local Schools students will not be put to use until 2014.
The project entails new sidewalks and crosswalks for Mad River Middle School and Beverly Gardens Elementary as well as pedestrian enhancements to the Harshman Road/Valley Pike intersection.
The total grant awarded was $349,605, with $25,000 of that to be used for classes designed to educate students on biking and walking to school.
City staff met last week with officials from the Ohio Department of Transportation and the school district to discuss the scope of work. Construction contracts will be awarded in the spring of 2014 and the project will be completed in time for the 2014-15 school year.
ODOT is handling the project, according to Jerry Ellender, Mad River Schools treasurer.
“It’s a little slower timeframe than what we were hoping for,” Ellender said. “But these projects mean a great deal to the district. It will improve the safety of students walking to school.”
New walkways will be constructed connecting Mad River Middle School to Rohrer Blvd. and Beverly Gardens Elementary to the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Child Development Center on Spinning Road.
Additionally, the sidewalk on Enright Avenue will be replaced.
“It’s great for the community to add infrastructure that we wouldn’t normally have, and the grant covers the infrastructure instead of us taking it out of our budget,” said Bob Murray, the city’s director of economic development and planning. “It’s all for the kids to make sure they have a safe pathway for school.”
Back in May, the city was notified it had been awarded the grant money for infrastructure and non-infrastructure projects. School starts this week for Mad River students.
“The campus walkways will make it easier for kids to get to school,” Murray said. “They’ll be able to get from one end of the property to the other without having to worry about car traffic. It will really cut down on their walk time.”
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