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BOE OKs right of way

The Escambia County board of education approved to grant a right of way to the city of East Brewton for the construction of a sidewalk for students to walk safely from W.S. Neal Elementary and Middle Schools to sidewalks adjoining Williamson Street during its monthly meeting on Jan. 24.

Superintendent John Knott said the city of East Brewton, following the death of a WSMS student Devon Spencer who got hit by a car walking to his home, in 2017, applied for a grant to allow the city the funding to create a sidewalk that would extend from the area of the schools down to where an apartment complex is located at the end of Williamson Street.

“The board last year made a motion and approved a resolution supporting that and supporting extending the sidewalks from the highway there from Williamson Street to provide a safe clear walkway to go home,” Knott said. “They’ve completed all of their fundraising and they have all of the funds needed to complete the project.”

Knott said the school property has a 10-foot wide walkway, and granting access to the right of way allows the city to construct the connecting sidewalk for students.

According to the board, the value of the sidewalks exceeds the value of the right of way/easement provided by the city.

Additionally, the board recognized that January is School Board Appreciation month, and each member of the board was lauded for their service to the schools; noted that Pre-K registration is open from now until March 15, and those interested can apply to the individual schools through a link on the schools’ Facebook page and website. Rachel Patterson Elementary, Flomaton Elementary and WSNES are holding Pre-K registration; and four new buses have arrived in an effort to keep recycling out buses every 10 years.

In other business, the board:

• recognized the winners of the Escambia County Schools spelling bee, which was held Jan. 16; and,

• recognized the AHSA Class 3A state football champions, Flomaton.