Gov. Beshear announces $2.2 million for school turn lane projects in Hopkins Co.

The governor also discusses state plans concerning in-person learning for 2021-22 school year
Published: Jul. 9, 2021 at 12:46 PM CDT
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HOPKINS CO., Ky. (WFIE) - Gov. Andy Beshear visited some western Kentucky communities Friday, including Hopkins County.

He was joined by Hopkins County Schools Superintendent Amy Smith, James Madison Middle School Principal Matt Melton and Pride Elementary School Principal Kristy Saint.

The governor discussed school safety transportation projects.

On Thursday, he announced plans to invest $23 million to improve highway safety near schools.

In Hopkins County, the list includes $100,000 to design KY 1581 turn lanes at Pride Elementary and another $100,000 to design KY 254 turn lanes at James Madison Middle School.

On Friday, Beshear announced that $200,000 was for design, but presented an additional $2 million for the actual construction.

“All across the commonwealth, our most precious cargo, our children, are being transported to and from their places of learning,” Beshear said. “We have to make sure they get there safely.”

The schools are on busy roads, and Beshear says those schools have the most walkers in the area.

“We looked at what’s the most important value to us as a commonwealth and admittedly me as a parent,” Beshear said. “The safety of our kids as it relates to their education.”

Officials say road designs are paid for and should be finished by the end of next year.

As for inside the classroom, Beshear says the year will depend on how many get the shot.

“We fully expect to have in-person school five days a week this next year,” he said. “What exactly that will look like will depend on our continued vaccination efforts.”

This means one classroom could look different than the one next door.

“A class that’s 80% vaccinated versus a class that’s 20% vaccinated, there’s going to be a lot of differences,” Beshear said.

The governor says the upcoming school year looks hopeful if those vaccination numbers can go up.

“My son turned 12 - the very next day he got his first shot, and yesterday he got his second shot,” Beshear said. “This is something I believe in, not just for myself but for my family.”

“As Governor, but also on a personal note, as a parent, the safety of our children is always on my mind,” Gov. Beshear said. “My administration will always put education first, and that includes making sure students, families, educators and staff are as safe as possible at and near their schools.”

Before he got to the announcement, he discussed job growth in the commonwealth.

“In a few weeks, we are going to have the biggest economic development announcement in western Kentucky in decades,” Gov. Beshear said.

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