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South Point gets grant for school safety

SOUTH POINT — The area around South Point Elementary School will soon get an added safety boost as the village has received a $153,000 grant from the Ohio Department of Transportation.

The grant comes from the Safe Routes to Schools program designed to add bricks and mortar safety features around schools in the state.

The village applied for the grant last summer and learned of the approval Wednesday.

South Point Elementary is the only school within the village limits.

“I think it is great for the school and the neighborhoods,” Mayor Bob Armstrong said. “I think it is a big thing.”

Working with the village and school officials on the grant proposal for Phase One of the school safety project was E.L. Robinson Engineering.

Among the improvements to be funded in this initial phase will be school zone lights, pavement cross walk markings and signs, according to Doug Cade, engineer with E. L. Robinson.

“The lights will be energy efficient solar panels on timers,” Cade said. “It is to try to make it a safe environment for school age kids to ride their bikes or walk to schools.”

Right now, these improvements will only be around the perimeter of the school.

“We will apply for future phases that will actually take a sidewalk over to the library,” Cade said. “Right now, there is a not a sidewalk kids can take from the school to the library.”

Cade expects the village to apply for the second grant in the fall.

Superintendent Ken Cook said he was pleased that the project would be starting soon, but has a single regret.

“That is that Mayor Gaskin worked with us and he is not here to see this,” Cook said. “He wanted to see that.”