Tift Co. School awarded grant for sidewalks - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Tift Co. School awarded grant for sidewalks

By  Stephanie Springer  - bio | email

TIFTON, GA (WALB) –Hundreds of kids walk to school each day and parents and teachers work to make sure they're as safe as possible.

Teachers at Tifton's G. O Bailey School have been worried about kids who walk to school for years.It looks like they'll finally get some help to make the walk safer.

Most days Ezekiel Jones walks school. "If a car comes, you look both ways and if a car isn't coming you just go across the street," said Jones.

He says he tries to be careful, but walking near such a busy road, with no sidewalks can be scary for a 7-year old. "I'm scared of the big trucks, because they are so fast," said Jones.

And administrators, like assistant principal Tammy Corbin. "It is unnerving some days when you see the cars in a hurry," said Corbin.

Out of 500 students, 300 students at G. O Bailey are not eligible to ride the bus because they live so close to school. "We have 130 that walk on a daily basis and more probably would if it were a safer environment," said Corbin.

And teachers say with that many children walking in an area with no sidewalks, safety is an issue. "Back in the 80's we actually had a child killed on the way to school so we knew we needed to do something here," said Carpenter.

Public Works Director Cal Carpenter had children who once attended the school so he saw the need for a safer route to school first hand. "There is no right away and no shoulder for them to walk on. We will put a curb and gutter there and drainage control and a sidewalk that will be away from the road and allow kids to walk back and forth to school and not be in danger of being hit by cars," said Carpenter.

Carpenter wrote the grant and says it will also help clear up congestion. "With this funding we should have a lot more kids being able to walk to school and their parents confident they can walk to school safely and relieve some of the congestion of dropping kids off,"said Carpenter.

Close to 300,000 dollars will go toward the project.

Next school officials will meet with the Department of Transportation to talk more about the sidewalks and the estimated completion date.

In addition to G.O Bailey the grant will help 30 schools around the state.

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