by Amie Sites
LOGANSPORT — Logansport was one of seven cities to receive a Safe Routes to Schools award – a competitive process where the city beat about 50 other applicants, said Community Development Director Chris Armstrong.
Michael O’Loughlin, Safe Routes to School program manager, said the Safe Routes to School program focuses on improving biking and walking to school by making it safer. O’Loughlin said the Indiana Department of Transportation is responsible for the program, which makes federal funding available to eligible activities.
Armstrong said the city will be eligible to receive up to $246,158 and it will be used for sidewalks, cross walks and curbs surrounding Fairview Elementary school.
This is not the first time Logansport has received the award, O’Loughlin said.
Logansport received a Safe Routes to School grant in 2006 for ramps and curbs and it targeted different schools, O’Loughlin said.
He said the award is a reimbursement program, where the local community uses its own resources and are completely reimbursed for costs up to the maximum amount of $246,158.
Armstrong said work was done at both Franklin and Columbia schools.
Arin Shaver, Logansport-Cass County director of planning, said there was a pre-final walk through on the work done at both elementaries, including new sidewalks, federally approved ramps, signage and crosswalks. Shaver said Leo Brown Construction in Logansport did the construction.
Chris Hess, Fairview Elementary’s principal, said she was surprised to hear about the award.
“To be able to put nice, new sidewalks for kids to walk and bike to school and be safe, is important,” Hess said. “To have the money to spruce it up is exciting.”
Hess said she was thrilled for not only the school, but the neighborhood and property owners as well.
“It means something to people who live here,” Hess said. “It’s not only going to impact the school, it impacts the entire community on the south side of town.”
Hess said she is anxious to see what the actual plan will be.
Armstrong said the next step will be to accept bids for the work.
Amie Sites is a reporter at the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at 574-732-5150 or firstname.lastname@example.org.