Dowagiac City Council approves N. Paul Street Sidewalk Project

DOWAGIAC — Community members will soon have a safe way to navigate the Dowagiac Union High School campus on foot.

The Dowagiac City Council unanimously approved a resolution to construct a sidewalk on the east side of N. Paul Street from Spruce to the high school parking lot entrance during Monday’s meeting at City Hall.

The project, which will be constructed out by Niles-based Northern Construction Service Corp., aims to improve pedestrian movement between the high school, Athletic and Physical Education Complex, Chris Taylor Alumni Field and Patrick Hamilton Elementary, as well as the new baseball field currently under construction across the street from the high school.

Construction on the 6-foot wide sidewalk extension is expected to begin this fall at a cost of $89,919, which will be paid using the combination of general and transportation fund dollars.

“It’s really a project that has been in the works for a long time,” said city manager Kevin Anderson. “This is something we’ve wanted to do for a few years. We were finally able to put monetary resources together to make it happen. It’s a tricky project because of the poles, wires and fences, but we’re excited. It’s going to be a good project as the area continues to see redevelopment.”

The project is the latest example of the city and the Dowagiac Union Schools’ efforts to link the high school campus to its new facilities as well as the surrounding neighborhood. The demolition and development of the former ICG building has bolstered parking for athletics and academic activities and the construction of a new high school baseball field across the street from the high school will reestablish the high school campus as a “complete” campus by having every facility on-site.

“A few years ago, the taxpayers approved a millage to make expansions and improvements at the high school and indicated that the high school will be the epicenter of the district for several generations,” Anderson said. “The sidewalk project, parking lot project and baseball facilities project are part of that effort. The city and the district are making good on their commitment to the community.”

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