Safe route established for path to new Independence school - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Safe route established for path to new Independence school

The new Independence Community School District trail The new Independence Community School District trail

Staff and visitors will soon have a safe route to travel between buildings from one end of the Independence Community School District campus to the other. 

A paved trail will provide a direct connection between the district's East/West Elementary campus and the new Junior-Senior High School building that is currently under construction.

Over time, the trail will feature benches, trees, historical points of interest and outdoor education features.

"We are really looking forward to connecting the campuses with a safe, direct route that staff, students and community members can use on a daily basis," said Superintendent Jean Peterson. "It will offer recreational and learning opportunities with outdoor education features planned along the route.

"With the location of the new school along 20th Avenue, the trail will provide a safe route for students to get to the school without having to walk or ride their bikes on First Street or 20th Avenue," Peterson added.

The district has already implemented a "Walking Towards Wellness" program that challenges students and staff to increase their physical exercise by walking the trail for at least 15 minutes every week.

"The district is putting a greater emphasis on wellness for our students and staff, and we would like to extend that to surrounding community members and visitors," Peterson said. "The trail will be open to the public and we envision it becoming a community destination point."

No property tax dollars will be used to fund this project. Funding for the trail will come from a variety of other sources, including in kind donors, cash donations from alumni that have raised money during class reunions to pay for benches, and the statewide SILO, or sales tax, funds.

Construction for the trail will begin after bid letting this spring with completion by Aug. 1, just in time for the opening of the Junior-Senior High School for the 2013-14 school year.

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