KAYSVILLE — Students attending Snow Horse Elementary and Centennial Junior High may soon have a safer route to school.
Many of the main thoroughfares surrounding the two schools do not have sidewalks for students to use.
The roads are narrow rural streets that have not been improved to meet the population growth in the area.
After months of negotiation between school administrators, residents and city officials, a resolution has emerged that appears to make everyone happy. If the schools can raise half of the $62,192 needed to install curb, gutter and sidewalks, the city will match their contributions and make sure the work is done.
The improvements will be made to the west side of Angel Street from Ramola Street to the Angel Street Soccer Complex if the two schools can raise $31, 096.
“We understand the need for safer routes to schools … if there was a way we could just do it, we would like to just do it,” said Mayor Steve Hiatt. “The community councils were very understanding to the realization that this was probably not something we could do as a city, and so they came up with this suggestion.”
While Angel Street is not the only area in need of sidewalks, it is the top priority because it will benefit 443 of the 795 students that attend Snow Horse, said Principal Kathleen Bagley.
Aaron Hogge, principal of Centennial Junior High, said most of the safety complaints he receives are from parents of students who use Angel Street to get to school.
The schools, with significant help from parents, will now undertake the daunting task of raising the large sum of money. A fundraising committee is in its preliminary stages.
Possible fundraising ideas have included grant applications, private and commercial donations and a 5K fun run.
“Our goal is to find fundraising activities that also bring the community together,” said Hogge. “We want to make it a mutually beneficial situation. Let’s make it exciting and fun.”
The city council expressed concerns about how to proceed if the schools couldn’t reach their goal. It considered breaking the project into more achievable sections, but decided to hold off on all construction until the schools raise their portion of the needed funds.
“I’ve tried to raise money in this town. It sounds really good, but when they actually have to cut a check, it’s much more difficult,” said City Councilman Gil Miller. “We can’t start constructing until we know the matched funds are on hand.”
In response, Bagley said, “We’re going to make $30,000. Mark my words.”
The city council discussed a possible deadline for the fundraising, but opted to see how it progresses before making such a decision.
Bagley hopes to have the total amount raised by May.
“I don’t ever remember anybody taking on a project of this magnitude,” said Councilman Ron Stephens. “I think it’s commendable.”