WILMINGTON — To connect the Southridge Subdivision with Holmes Elementary School, the City of Wilmington in collaboration with the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) will construct about 2,250 feet of sidewalk along Truesdell Street.
“This project is designed to promote safe passage of our children from their residences to school,” Wilmington Director of Public Service and Public Safety Brian A. Shidaker said Tuesday. It is a project of ODOT’s “Safe Routes to School” program, begun in 2008.
Once built, there will be uninterrupted sidewalk from Randolph Street to the school grounds of Holmes Elementary.
“It’s just a dangerous spot. I see people drive faster than the 35 miles per hour speed limit there, and I’ve seen women pushing strollers there. It will be a marked improvement for school children and other pedestrians,” said Clinton County Regional Planning Commission Executive Director Taylor Stuckert who is providing planning support and guidance on the project.
“It will connect a significant population — the Southridge Subdivision — to the school. I know the school district welcomes it,” Stuckert added.
At Monday night’s Wilmington City Schools (WCS) Board of Education meeting, board members approved a donation of 0.13 acre of right-of-way to ODOT and the City of Wilmington for the sidewalk project.
The project has been designed and engineered, and currently is in the right-of-way acquisition phase. In order to complete the project, the City is currently in the process of obtaining easements from the affected property owners along West Truesdell Street, said Shidaker.
Construction of the project is planned for early spring of 2017.
Typically, 100 percent of the costs for a “Safe Routes to School” project are covered by ODOT, said Stuckert.
In other news from the school board meeting, WCS Superintendent Ron Sexton reported that he thinks high school students and their parents were excited at the Chromebook laptop computers distribution events this month prior to the start of school.
“I know our teachers have been using those [in their classrooms] very wisely everyday already,” Sexton said Monday night.
In walking through the high school and looking in classrooms, the superintendent said he has seen the Chromebook laptops out and the students hard at work.
Wilmington High School Principal Mindy McCarty-Stewart said she saw two students, who apparently don’t have Internet capabilities at home, with their car parked up against the school building after-hours, using the building’s WiFi technology.
One of the students in the car was creating a PowerPoint, said McCarty-Stewart, while the other student was on Google Classroom — that is, Google apps for education.
They were taking advantage of their Chromebooks, the superintendent said.
Through the WHS 1:1 Chromebook Initiative, every individual student at the high school is provided a personal Chromebook for his or her educational needs while attending WHS. In other words, 1:1 refers to “one device: one student”.
This school year for the first time, Wilmington High School students received a laptop for a $50 technology fee at the time of the Chromebook pick-up.
In that connection, Elks 797 in Wilmington donated $500 to go toward the Chromebook fees for 10 students, and anonymous donors contributed $300 for the Chromebook fees for six students.
Also, Donald and Rebecca Rauch donated $25 to the school district’s department of special education in memory of Bess Stamm, who taught 35-plus years at various schools in Clinton County, retiring from Wilmington City Schools.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768 or on Twitter @GHuffenberger.