Grant Helps Fund Safe Routes to Midland Schools

By Wyatt Goolsby
NewsWest 9

The planning is on in Midland to help local schools get students to class safely, and it's all because of a grant worth more than a million bucks.

"Hopefully, the neighborhood children and parents, and anybody that's in this neighborhood can use these sidewalks to safely walk within the neighborhood," said James Riggen with MISD.

It's a simple idea: Getting kids to school safely, by improving sidewalks and bike routes. And the Midland School District will do that with two grants from the Texas Department of Transportation.  It's part of the "Safe Routes to School Program."

"This is the first time that the TXDOT grants have been offered to schools directly, working with the City of Midland, and TXDOT to apply for these types of safe route to school grants," Riggen explained.

Emerson, Goddard, and Fannin Schools will get the improvements.

"They will allow the student to either walk or bike via sidewalk with the proper ramping and the proper access for the student safety," said Riggen.

But it's not just the sidewalks that will get an upgrade.

"Also, included in this grant is additional sign markings, or flashing beacons to allow the motorist in this area to be able to see where we have crosswalks," said Riggen.

The improvements are still in the design stages. The school district hopes construction will start sometime in the summer of next year.