New sidewalks in Socorro will pave the way to ‘Safe Routes to School’

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An eagerly anticipated improvement project in the City of Socorro will give students and their families a safer path to schools in the Socorro Independent School District. SISD administration, a board trustee, Socorro High School and Campestre Elementary students joined City of Socorro council members at the “Foundation Celebration” ceremony in January to launch the “Safe Routes to School” project.

The $3 million project will install sidewalks and flashing school zone lights around all eight SISD schools in the City of Socorro – Campestre Elementary, Escontrias Elementary, Ernesto Serna School, H.D. Hilley Elementary, Hueco Elementary, Robert R. Rojas Elementary, Salvador H. Sanchez Middle School, and Socorro Middle School.

The first slab of concrete was poured in front of Campestre Elementary School at the celebration. Superintendent José Espinoza, Board Trustee Paul Guerra, principals of the schools in Socorro and students helped shovel concrete to start the first sidewalk.

“This is an exciting day. This is a prime example of the entire community working together for the benefit and safety of our students,” said Superintendent José Espinoza.

For many years, students have taken a risky walk to school along the highway without the safety of sidewalks. The project will construct sidewalks and school zone flashing signs to help protect students and anyone walking in the neighborhoods.

“Give us sidewalks for safe routes to school!” said Socorro city manager Willie Norfleet Jr. “As we use education as the route to the future we must provide safe routes to school.”

The Socorro community has awaited these improvements for many years. Principals, parents, and district and city officials agreed it will be a great benefit for the community.

Campestre principal Isabel Andresen said the sides of the roads were a big problem when it rained. The sidewalks will be a big improvement and probably encourage more students to walk to school. She also said many students have new bikes that they would like to ride to school.

“Now they can ride and walk to school safely,” Andresen said.

The construction, which began in January, is expected to last about 6 months. GarCom LLC is the contractor on the project. The company will work with SISD ensure the construction causes as little disruption to traffic flow as it places the new sidewalks and school flashers.