FD school dist. OKs easements

Fort Dodge Middle School and Senior High will have new city sidewalks this summer.

The Fort Dodge Community School District board in a special meeting Monday approved granting two right of way easements to the city of Fort Dodge.

A 10-foot easement was approved at the new middle school, at 800 N. 32nd St., and at Senior High at 819 N. 25th St.

“Basically they’re both the same,” Doug Van Zyl, FDCSD superintendent, said. “The city approached us a while ago about putting a sidewalk or trail along the north side of the property at the middle school and one at the north side of the property at the high school.”

Van Zyl said this would benefit the district.

“For us, this makes sense,” he said. “You’ll have more kids walking to the middle school from some of those neighbors, so that sidewalk can be there for them. They can be able to travel.”

The new sidewalks will also benefit the community, particularly its trails.

“Ultimately they want those trails to connect,” he said.

The sidewalks would be put in at no cost to the school district, Van Zyl said.

“We’d be happy to help them clean it, as far as trying to remove snow, if we can,” he said. “We’ve had those conversations, they need to make sure they put them in so our trucks can get up and down there. If it gets torn up they have to replace it, and we prefer not to tear it up during the wintertime. So we’ve given them our specifications. They’re aware of it.”

According to Van Zyl, nothing will be impacted at the middle school. One tree at the high school, though, which sits out of line of other trees and is closer to the street, will have to be removed.

Van Zyl recommended approving the right of way.

“I see it as a benefit for us,” he said, “because our kids will be able to come and go from that area.”

The new sidewalks will be installed this summer, before the start of school in August.