"As everybody knows, a school system is in the business of educating young minds, but our first priority is actually the safety of our students and their families," said Pittsburg schools Superintendent Rich Proffitt.
Students and their families got a lot of credit at Tuesday's ceremony commemorating the completion of the Safe Routes to School Project. City and school officials say their input was a driving force behind a project that's created new multipurpose walking trails near Westside Elementary, Pittsburg Community Middle School, and George Nettels Elementary School.
"I'd say the support the community has behind active transportation as a whole, and specifically with the Safe Routes to School Project in order to get our students safely to and from school, is very impressive. You don't necessarily see that in every community," said Pittsburg Public Works Director Cameron Alden.
The Safe Routes to School Project also had an ally in the Kansas Department of Transportation who provided a $187,000 grant and the city of Pittsburg which chipped in $53,000. School officials made it clear that protecting students as they commute to their educations is a job that requires a dedicated community, and they're proud to be working in one that takes that responsibility seriously
"There's a lot of times that people think that safety and security begins and ends at our doorway, but it doesn't. It starts when our students leaves their doors until they go back and rejoin their families at the end of every day," said Proffitt.