City Receives Sidewalk Grant
The Illinois Department of Transportation announced on Tuesday that it will award $200,000 to the City of Bloomington in response to a Safe Routes to School (SRTS) grant application submitted by the City’s Public Works Department and Bloomington Public Schools District 87. Funding from the grant, which does not require a local match, will be used exclusively for construction of public sidewalk at and near Sheridan Elementary School. Project completion is anticipated during the 2020 construction season, but the timing of funding disbursement and bidding will impact the timing of the project.
The project will improve access, safety and accessibility to not only Sheridan Elementary but also to three city parks. They are O’Neil Park and White Oak Park, which provide scheduled, supervised activities for Bloomington youth and families, and Evergreen Park, a neighborhood park adjacent to the Evergreen Place public housing complex.
“This grant was truly a collaborative effort between District 87 and the City of Bloomington, and we are so thankful for their help,” said City of Bloomington Director of Public Works Jim Karch. “It will make a positive difference for Sheridan school children and others using the sidewalks in this area."
“Bloomington District 87 is thrilled to have our City selected as a recipient of the Safe Route to School Grant!" said District 87 Superintendent Dr. Barry Reilly. "This will allow for the City to provide a safer walking route for our children attending Sheridan Elementary School. We are extremely grateful for the strong partnership with the City and their commitment to helping our schools. This is a great win for the community!”
The Sheridan Elementary School sidewalk project was one of 39 projects chosen to receive an SRTS grant out of the 168 total applications. Each application was independently reviewed and scored by numerous IDOT staff members. These scores were then averaged and combined with objective scores relating to percentages of low-income and disabled student populations.
The City of Bloomington, in partnership with McLean County Unit 5 schools, received a SRTS grant in 2014 to build the Benjamin Elementary School Trail, which provides a bicycle and pedestrian pathway from The Grove on Kickapoo Creek subdivision to the school