Children will find the walk to school safer, now that a project has been completed to spruce up sidewalks outside the Pulaski Street School.
Riverhead Town Supervisor Sean Walter will celebrate the completion of the joint county-town-school sidewalk project on Tuesday at 10 a.m. at the Pulaski Street School.
“Anyone who has ever walked a child to school knows how important sidewalks are to the safety of our schoolchildren. This project is a model for the kind of partnership we want to encourage across Suffolk County to help ensure safe traverse to school and revitalize downtown districts,” Suffolk County Executive Steven Bellone said.
The project commenced after the Town of Riverhead utilized $50,000 in federal Community Development Block Grant funding, said Christine Kempner, the town's community development agency director.
That funding offset the total project cost of $56,800. The remainder of the balance was borne by the Riverhead Central School District.
“This is a wonderful example of the kind of partnership school districts can have with towns,” Riverhead Central Scool District Superintendent Nancy Carney said. “I am so pleased that we were able to work together to get this project done because it has drastically improved the look and feel of the road in front of one of Riverhead’s finest looking structures.”
Carney added that the community came together in a strong show of support last October when they passed the $78.3 million school bond vote for improvements.
Residents, she said, were “making a strong statement that they support the idea of renovating, modernizing and maintaining our infrastructure. While the sidewalks in front of Pulaski Street School are funded from other sources, I believe that this project is a natural extension of that direction from the community -- to modernize and maintain our infrastructure," Carney said.
Sidewalks involved inlcuded 970 linear feet of six-foot wide sidewalks, including 540 linear feet on Pulaski Street and 430 linear feet on Osborne Avenue.
Suffolk County Legislator Edward Romaine added that he was pleased the county was able to partner with the town and school district to secure funding for the "important" project. "The safety of our students is paramount and these new and improved sidewalks will help ensure they have a safe way to get to school," he said.
Walter said the joint effort resulted in a win-win for the community and for schoolchildren. “We are, after all, one community and we should strive to work together to make things better for all residents," he said.
Both Walter and Kempner said the CDBG funds provided by Suffolk County were critical to the project's completion. "This is a terrific example of different levels of government - county, town and school, partnering together to make Riverhead a better place," Kempner said.
Carney said she looks forward to working with the town on future projects.