HOPEWELL TWP.: Grant money to be sought for walkway near school 


By Frank Mustac, Special Writer
Hopewell Township has applied for grant money to finance a pedestrian walkway from Bear Tavern Elementary School to the intersection of Bear Tavern Road and Washington Crossing-Pennington Road.
“Basically, it’s about four-tenths of a mile from the front of (the school) all the way up to that corner,” said Thomas Smith, the school district superintendent, at the latest school board meeting. “Also from the intersection of Washington Crossing-Pennington Road to the right that would take us into the next neighborhood, which is Grenloch Drive, another two-tenths of a mile.”
No money from the school district will be used to pay for the project, Dr. Smith said.The Hopewell Valley Regional School District Board of Education passed a resolution in May supporting the grant application.
“We cannot apply for those grants ourselves. They need to be applied for through Hopewell Township,” said Lisa Wolff, the Board of Education president.
In early May, Ms. Wolff and the superintendent, along with School Business Administrator Robert Colavita and Principal Christopher Turnbull from Bear Tavern School, met with Hopewell Township Mayor Kevin Kuchinski and Township Administrator Paul Pogorzelski to review a number of potential grants, including one from the state Safe Routes to School program for the pedestrian walkway.
Created and supported by the state Department of Transportation with funding from the Federal Highway Administration, Safe Routes to School enables and encourages safer and more accessible walking and bicycling environments for children in New Jersey.
“Originally, Hopewell Township was looking at putting a grant together for a walkway between Scotch Road and Timberlane Middle School,” Ms. Wolff said, “but there was interest from some parents and from the principal at Bear Tavern Elementary School to do a grant for a walkway between Bear Tavern and Washington Crossing Park and other areas.”
“As a group we got together and decided that we would love to get both grants, but if we were going to prioritize one over the other, we were probably going to prioritize the one for the elementary school versus the one for the middle school,” she said.
The said the walkway is a “really cool idea.” 