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Sidewalks added at Pasadena Park Elementary

Sidewalk construction near Pasadena Park Elementary School is seen East Upriver Drive Oct. 5. (Tyler Tjomsland)
Sidewalk construction near Pasadena Park Elementary School is seen East Upriver Drive Oct. 5. (Tyler Tjomsland)

Crews are busy putting in new sidewalks near Pasadena Park Elementary School, thanks to federal Safe Routes to School grant.

Brian Liberg, nutrition and transportation director for the West Valley School District, said he hopes the sidewalks will encourage more students to walk. Right now, 25 to 30 of Pasadena Park’s 400 or so students walk to and from school.

“The goal is to get more kids walking to school, biking to school,” he said.

The project extends along the north side of Upriver Drive from Dick to Bessie roads and on the south side of the street from Maringo Drive to Bessie. On the east side of the school, there will be new sidewalks on Upriver to Marguerite Road and extending 300 feet up Marguerite to the parking lot of Pasadena Park Church. There will also be new crossing beacons on Upriver.

Tim Schwab, plans and contract engineer from Spokane County Public Works, said the project was approved for $448,000.

“I think we’re going to be under budget by a fair bit,” he said.

Children walking to school should be able to use the sidewalks by Nov. 1.

The sidewalks will look a little different from most, since the county is using concrete made of pea gravel and that has less lime than regular concrete to allow for better storm water drainage. It is the first project the county has used this material.

“It’s not your standard concrete sidewalk,” Schwab said.

Liberg said the district applied for this grant two years ago and hopes to apply for more grants to extend the sidewalks to Fraser Estates on the other side of Argonne Road. If that happens, Liberg said the district would place crossing guards at the intersection of Argonne and Upriver. There is a traffic signal there now, but the crossing guards would increase awareness to drivers.

Liberg said this project falls under both halves of his position with the district. As transportation director, he is in charge of getting students to school, but as nutrition director, he wants to find ways for students to not only eat healthy, but get active. At Pasadena, students have been discussing the new sidewalks.

“There’s even excitement in the school,” Liberg said. “Hopefully, we’re giving parents more comfort that there’s a safer way to get here.”

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