10/15/2013 10:24:00 AM Guest column: School bus loop construction to start in spring
As superintendent for the Williams Unified School District, I find it important to find ways to improve communications and connections between the school and the community. With this goal in mind, I would like to begin submitting a monthly or bi-monthly guest column to the Williams News. I feel this would be an effective way to share current school district events, school highlights, and other items of interest with the community. My first topic is about the bus loop that will be constructed this coming spring at the elementary-middle school. The bus loop project is fully paid for by a Safe Routes to School grant. The grant is in the amount of approximately $173,000. The project is being completed by the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) and the city of Williams is serving as the fiscal agent. The school district has not and will not receive any of the funding. Our students will simply benefit from the project. Grant monies will go directly from Safe Routes to School to those completing the construction. The environmental and architectural work for the project is now complete and ADOT plans to take the project to bid this January. The goal will be for the new U-shaped bus loop to be installed in the north grassy lot at the elementary-middle school. The safety of the students will increase exponentially by removing the buses from the parking lot altogether. The district has worked diligently to separate the zones of cars, buses, and pedestrians; however, this will be a long-term safety fix for students. We actually had hoped that the project was going to be completed this past spring and summer. However, as with any grant funds, we are bound to the timelines of ADOT. We are certainly grateful for the support of ADOT, Safe Routes to School, and the city of Williams for assisting in this important endeavor.