Public invited to celebrate Sheridan Safe Routes to School project

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Placer County officials invite the public to attend a ribbon-breaking ceremony Sept. 15 to celebrate the Sheridan Safe Routes to School Project completion. The ceremony will be at 10 a.m. at the Sheridan Elementary School on 4730 H St. in Sheridan. The celebration is being planned by Placer County and the Western Placer Unified School District. “We hope the Sheridan community will come join us,” said Chairman Robert M. Weygandt of the Placer County Board of Supervisors. “The completion of this project definitely is worth celebrating. It will ensure students can walk to school on paths intended for their use and no longer have to share roadways with automobile traffic.” Weygandt will speak at the Sept. 15 ribbon-breaking ceremony. He represents Sheridan on the board of supervisors. Other speakers include school Principal Kris Knutson, Chairman Jim Houck of the Sheridan Municipal Advisory Council and Brian Haley, a Western Placer Unified School District board member. A student speaker also will be part of the ceremony. “This was a team effort with the county, school, Sheridan MAC and community all working alongside each other,” Weygandt said. “The Safe Routes to School Project is one of many positive changes that have been completed or are underway in Sheridan.” Completed projects include the use of grant funds to provide school computer technology equipment, pedestrian safety improvements, low-cost loans for home improvements and the rehabilitation of abandoned houses, and sewer-capacity improvements, according to the county’s assistant public information officer Mike Fitch. Efforts underway include a community plan update, water improvements and the Riosa Road Improvement Project, according to Fitch. Among the many organizations and individuals who provided letters of support for the Safe Routes to School Project were the United Auburn Indian Community, Placer County Sheriff’s Office, California Highway Patrol, Placer County Office of Education, First Southern Baptist Church of Sheridan, Tom Powell of Cemex, Western Placer Teachers Association, Sheridan Elementary Site Based Leadership Team and Sheridan Elementary Parent Teacher Club. The Safe Route to School Project included: • Construction of asphalt multipurpose paths on Camp Far West, 11th, 10th and H streets in Sheridan • Installation of a sign that displays the speed of approaching vehicles on H Street in Sheridan • Construction of multipurpose paths adjacent to the school’s existing perimeter fences so children can walk in front of parked cars, rather than behind them • Addition of a designated bus loading zone and new parking striping • Creation of a four-way stop at the intersection of Riosa Road and 10th Street in Sheridan. The elementary school campus serves preschool and elementary students and is a collection point for middle and high school students who ride buses to Lincoln. Previously, children walking or riding bicycles to school shared roadways with automobile traffic because the roads are lined with drainage ditches and students did not have designated pedestrian and bike paths. The project was funded through the Federal Safe Routes to School Program. The project was the first completed in unincorporated Placer County using funding from the programm, according to Fitch. In June, the Board of Supervisors awarded a $207,732 contract to Wopahoe Construction, Inc., of Lincoln to build the project, Fitch said.