By BRAD KELLAR
The Greenville City Council Tuesday awarded bids for projects to add miles of new sidewalks around four local elementary schools.
But one council member, who also works for the Greenville Independent School, noted that walking to school is not the only safe option.
“My responsibility tonight is to make people aware that we do have bus service,” said James Evans.
The council voted to award four bids to Highway 19 Construction of Sulphur Springs for the contracts to install the sidewalks at Bowie, Carver, Crockett and Lamar elementary schools.
The City of Greenville received a $1.87 million grant from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) for the Safe Routes to School Infrastructure program, which is expected to provide approximately 80,000 linear feet (15.15 miles) of new sidewalks, repairs to existing sidewalks, curb cuts for ramps, the construction of curbs and gutters, crossings, traffic control devices and drainage. The improvements are designed to help encourage more children to walk or ride bikes to and from the schools.
Before voting in favor of the bids Evans, who during the past 37 years had served as principal at several Greenville ISD elementary schools before accepting the position as top administrator at the Sixth Grade Center, reminded the audience that 50 years ago former Superintendent Wesley Martin enacted a policy to make sure that anyone living within two miles of a local campus had a chance to ride the bus to school. Evans went on to explain that then-Superintendent Lloyd Graham started a policy about seven years ago, to where any student who did not live within sight of a school could ride the bus.
“I worry and my concern is still for kids’ safety,” Evans said.