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QPS, Quincy seek to solve sidewalk issue

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As Quincy Public Schools prepare to open their newest elementary school this fall, Iles Elementary, one thing will not be there right away. Sidewalks in front of the school.

"It's a budget issue. I think it's a budget issue for both us and the city," said QPS Superintendent Roy Webb.

Webb says when Quincy's newest school was built, sidewalks were not initially a part of the plan.

"We had discussions with the city and at the time we could have done a sidewalk in front of our school but that would have been a sidewalk to nowhere," said Webb.

Quincy City Planner Chuck Bevelheimer says the area's current infrastructure will require more planning and money than you might think.

"North 12th street was a state route, a rural section, it was never built with curbs, gutters and sidewalks. The fact that we now got a school out there to support that obviously everyone wants sidewalks, but we have to get the infrastructure in place to support the sidewalks," said Bevelheimer.

The city and school district must now wait for state funding from the Safe Routes to School program to be renewed.

"Preliminary, engineering department estimated an over $800,000 cost which is a big number, it's not in our budget," said Bevelheimer.

In the meantime, Webb says the district has a safe plan in place to keep students safe.

"We have 100 percent busing. All students who come to Iles Elementary are eligible to ride a bus, even though they may be within a mile and a half of school, they may be across the street, but they can still ride the bus," said Webb.

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