The board agreed to spend $65,908 of the total amount needed on a road and sidewalk project that will improve crossing efforts at Wren elementary, middle, and high schools.
After hearing a pitch from Anderson County Transportation Representative Judy Shelato, the board says they felt that this was the right move.
“The county feels really positive about what it will do for that area, and the district board felt the same way,” said Superintendent Wayne Fowler. “I don’t think you would find anyone who would say this isn’t a wise thing to do and it has been needed for a number of years.”
The school board already has $174,951.27 from a Safe Route to School grant they received a few years ago for this project, and they plan to receive the remaining $95,350.32 from the Anderson County Transportation Department. Fowler says the board should have no problem acquiring the remaining funds, and construction will soon be under way.
“All the funding sources are now in place,” said Fowler. “It is just a matter of going through the formalities of getting everything together. Our target date to start will be April 2nd and they are to be finished July 31st.”
Fowler says this will be the second phase in an effort to make roads and sidewalks safer in that area.
“We have already done phase one of this project,” said Fowler. “Phase one involved Wren Middle School, and we put sidewalks around their school to and from athletic facilities (and other facilities). That was such a popular thing with our parents and they spoke so highly of our effort there.”
Fowler says the second half of the project took a little longer to get going.
“We had a phase two but there was no funding source,” said Fowler. “For years we have been working to make the intersections around the area less congested and provide safer crosswalks. That’s the reason we went back a second time and applied for the grant money. It has just taken a long time to get everything in place.”
With the money now in place, Fowler says the three schools will soon benefit.
“After this project is finished, students will be able to leave Wren Elementary School, cross over at safe cross walks, and walk all the way around Wren High School, cross over and have sidewalks all the way around Wren Middle School,” said Fowler. “We will have safer crosswalks and medians that students can use in when crossing.”
SNS Construction won the bid on this project, and agreed to get it done for a total of $336,209.95. Fowler says the board would be hard pressed to find a better use of that money.
“This will be a very wise use of money,” said Fowler. “The board was happy to contribute this amount of money, because for the amount of money we’re spending, we’re getting a $336,209 package and all the engineering work is not even included in that.”