BY JOE OLENICK
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — With the help of some federal cash, Lockport City Schools will be encouraging kids to walk to school safely. The district, along with the city and town of Lockport, are the recipients of a $570,219 Safe Routes To School grant.
New York DOT Commissioner Joan McDonald announced Friday that $26.5 million in federal money would go to implement infrastructure improvements and public education campaigns in schools across the state. The idea is to encourage elementary and middle school children to safely walk and bike to school.
So, the money will go for sidewalks and safety education at schools in the Lockport City School District.
In the town, sidewalks will be added on East High Street between Magnolia to Day Road, Locust Street from O’Connor Drive to George Southard Elementary School. Unrelated to the grant, Walmart is funding the addition of sidewalks between Lockport High School, O’Connor and Shimer Road, while the state DOT will put in sidewalks along Robinson and Dysinger Road.
In the city, sidewalks will be added near North Park Junior High on Passaic Avenue, Emmet Belknap Intermediate and Roy B. Kelley Elementary on East High Street.
“We’re very excited about it,” said Rosanna Sandell, director of research and development for the school district. “It was very competitive, it was very involved writing it.”
David Kinyon, the town’s economic development director, said the grant will be paid as a reimbursement. The city and town will front the cost and bid the work out, so there’s no expense for the district.
The grant was aimed at schools housing kindergarten through ninth grade kids, with an emphasis on elementary students, Kinyon said.
About $116,000 of the grant will go to additional signs, safety billboards and educational programs. Some of those could include a “walking school bus,” where volunteers lead a group of kids as they walk to school.
“It’s getting kids to be more active, to make the community more walkable,” SandelContact reporter Joe Olenick at 439-9222, ext. 6241.