Shawnee City Commissioners acknowledged Avedis Foundation President and CEO Michelle Briggs Monday as she presented a check to the city to officially usher in part two of the community's sidewalk/trails project.

Shawnee City Commissioners acknowledged Avedis Foundation President and CEO Michelle Briggs Monday as she presented a check to the city to officially usher in part two of the community's sidewalk/trails project.

“I first announced our five-year partnership in July 2016,” Briggs said.

It's great to see all the work that's been done since then, she said.

Addressing City Commissioners, she said, “I am pleased to present you with the second installment of $350,000 to continue this great work and increase the quality of life of Shawnee citizens.”

Contractors have already started on the next round of projects, which include replacing existing and installing new sidewalks on Broadway from Highland to MacArthur.

The plan also will add sidewalks to North Kickapoo from MacArthur to 45th, and from 45th to the Interstate Parkway, she said.

“This next round will result in 4.5 miles in new sidewalks that connect people to parks, schools and essential services,” she said. “It also greatly furthers our larger goal of promoting health community initiatives and increased health and wellness and is right in line with the Blue Zones Project.”

Briggs thanked commissioners for the continued cooperation, support and partnership through the project.

Year one

Shawnee City Manager Justin Erickson said in the first year of the joint effort between Avedis and the City of Shawnee, crews have replaced or installed new sidewalks on East Main from Harrison to Bryan, providing connections to Boy Scout Park and the Bryan Street Trail, as well as the Community Market and downtown Shawnee, which needs revitalization.

Erickson said sidewalks on Wallace Street were replaced, which provides a safe route to Jefferson Elementary School.

“The sidewalks were about 80 years old,” he said. “They were not safe for students or anybody to travel on safely.”

New sidewalks were placed on Independence (from Bryan) toward Sequoyah Elementary School to Center Street, Erickson said.

Then sidewalks were built from Center south to Boy Scout Park, he said, “In doing that, we have a full connection.”

These additions on Independence from Harrison to Bryan connected schools, neighborhoods and parks in the city, Erickson said.