November 29, 2015

Partly sunny

Oberlin gets $500K for safer walk to school

OBERLIN – Sidewalks and crosswalks will be built, signals will be improved and bike racks will be installed as a result of a $500,000 grant to the Oberlin Schools, said Superintendent Geoffrey Andrews.

The school district, working in partnership with the city and Oberlin College, has received a Safe Routes to School grant from the Ohio Department of Transportation, he said Friday.

In addition to the sidewalks and other physical improvements, the grant will provide for educational programs and incentives for walking and biking to school.

Andrews credited Assistant Superintendent John Schroth with doing “the lion’s share of the work” on the applications.

The news gave a great ending to a week that also saw Oberlin Schools receive its first overall excellent rating on state report cards, Andrews said.

The school district began the application process for the Safe Routes to School grant more than two years ago, beginning with a planning grant and public input process.

The next stage included development of a  school travel plan, an engineering review of city transportation infrastructure and proposed projects throughout the city.

Andrews declined to speculate exactly where new sidewalks will be built, but said “certainly a big chunk of it will be spent on sidewalks.”

The planning team for the grant included Oberlin Public Works Director Jeff Baumann, Oberlin Planning and Development Director Gary Boyle, Dr. Randall Doane, dean of undergraduate research and faculty director for the Oberlin Bicycle Co-Op, Marilyn Hill, health educator for the Lorain County General Health District, Oberlin Police Chief Thomas Miller and community member Dr. Ken Stanley.

Contact Cindy Leise at 329-7245 or