It was the Michigan Department of Transportation grant the Norway-Vulcan Area Schools had been hoping to receive for six years, and this year, they finally did. The â??Safe Routes to Schoolâ?? grant is two-fold, both infrastructure and non-infrastructure oriented. This means allocated money for practical improvements to the sidewalks, as well as over $6,000 to be used in educational resources to promote safe walking and biking to school.
â??Weâ??ve developed a plan to funnel the students to particular routes along this safe route access to the Norway-Vulcan Area Schools complex,â?? said Elementary Principal, Brad Grayvold. â??We think this grant is going to give us the opportunity to work with the city and the State of Michigan to promote safe routes to a safe school.â??
The grant allows for $380,909 to be used to repair the sidewalks and install ramps. Thatâ??s where the City of Norway comes into play because in the summer of 2014, they'll be completing the work. â??We have Second Street, Fourth Street, Section Street and Walnut Street here in Norway that the sidewalks will see improvement on,â?? Grayvold said. Improvements fourth grader Drew Anderson is looking forward to using. â??Yeah, some of them are cracked and have weeds in them,â?? said Anderson. â??Iâ??ve been walking to school for two years, and my sister is in fifth grade and she walks to school with me every morning.â??
The â??Safe Routes to Schoolâ?? program is an international initiative to promote safety and health, and those at the school said they know it will work well in Norway. â??We have a lot of students that walk to school every day and our bike racks are full. Itâ??s a good thing, not only from a safety standpoint, but also to encourage lifelong fitness activities that the students will carry with them for the rest of their lives,â?? Grayvold said.