Some Tulsa and Union students will see changes around their schools when they go back in two weeks.
The City of Tulsa will have 17 projects under the Public Schools Safety First Initiative finished by then. City Councilor David Patrick praised voters for approving $14.5 million in the 2016 Vision sales tax renewal, funding improvements like sidewalks, curb ramps, speed humps, crosswalks and street lights.
"Eighty-two improvements of Tulsa Public Schools sites will be done, five Jenks Public Schools locations will be improved and 17 sites in the Union Public School district will be enhanced … so we can make sure our children are safe," Patrick said.
Of the 17 sites included in the first phase, 16 are elementary schools.
Some Jenks Public Schools sites will be included in the second phase of 25 projects that will start soon. All 104 school sites in line for pedestrian safety improvements should have them done by 2021.
Mayor G.T. Bynum said the council’s inclusion and voters’ approval of funding in the Vision package marked a shift from the days when schools were left to fend for themselves.
"My hope — and I’ll just speak for myself — is that one day we can do that on an operational side, where local citizens are empowered to fund education the way it ought to be," Bynum said. "But, for today, I’m very thankful that the citizens of Tulsa were empowered to make our schools and the routes to and from them safer for kids."