Durant expands sidewalks around Washington Irving Elementary

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DURANT, OK -- Kids who live near Washington Irving Elementary will soon have a safer walk to school.

That's because the city is paving 20 blocks of sidewalks around the area.

Rebecca Parr, grants coordinator, said they received a $200,000 grant from O-DOT to promote a "Safe Route to School" program.

"It reduces traffic in your school zone areas," she said. "To make it a safer place for children to walk or bike to school."

They finished 13 blocks of sidewalk last fall. But they had money left over.

Parr said they cemented the deal with money from the Oklahoma tobacco settlement.

"We have about $150,000. We're hoping to fit everything into that budget," she said.

Principal Katy Pruitt said it's been a six year process getting the sidewalks in place.

"Isn't it wonderful," she said. "We just look so great. We have smooth sidewalks. It's just a great asset to our school."

Pruitt said as a child she used to walk to class at Washington Irving.

"I mean, having a nice sidewalk, clear of traffic, it's just that much better for our kids. And we know that they're safe coming to school," she said.

Parr said the new sidewalks will also benefit Durant Middle School. They hope to complete the sidewalks by July.

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