ST. JOSEPH — The St. Joseph school board gave its stamp of approval for an upcoming city project that will improve student safety at Lincoln Elementary School.
At Monday night’s board meeting, trustees adopted a resolution and memorandum of understanding for installation for the city to add a 10-foot-wide non-motorized path and angled parking along Orchard Avenue in front of Lincoln Elementary School.
The resolution also grants an easement with the city to undergo construction on underground utilities.
“We have a lot of students coming out every day and the traffic area can be difficult,” Superintendent Thomas Bruce said. “There are also some safety issues with students leaving the school and crossing the street while other traffic is coming in and out. The idea is to widen that road and put in more slant parking so students are just getting in there on the school side of the street.”
Kathy Hamilton, the district’s chief financial officer, said discussions between the city and the district for the project began six months ago.
“We’ve been talking about this for quite some time,” she said. “Construction would begin in the summer of 2020.”
The planned construction is part of a larger reconstruction project on Kingsley, Morton and Orchard avenues.
According to Herald-Palladium archives, St. Joseph commissioners awarded Abonmarche a contract for $345,210 in June for the design and construction engineering for reconstruction projects on the roads.
Construction would likely begin on Kingsley first, and start on the other streets after classes let out at Lincoln Elementary School.
With angled parking only being added to Orchard Avenue, the 10-foot-wide path would extend through Morton Avenue.
No school funds will be used for the project. Hamilton said the project is being entirely paid for by the city.
The project would also mean some changes to the school property, which the school district agreed to. Hamilton said to make room for the project, the city will assist with the relocation of the school softball field.
“We’re excited about this project,” Hamilton said. “Any minor inconvenience is outweighed by the safety of our students.”
The next board meeting is at 6 p.m. on Oct. 14 at the district’s administration building.
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