​New Bike Pad at Sewanee Elementary

by Bailey Basham, Messenger Staff Writer
Students at Sewanee Elementary School will be able to enjoy afternoon bike rides over newly paved sidewalks thanks to a partnership with the board of education and the Sewanee Community Chest.
After years of wear and tear, the concrete on the old bike area and sidewalks had begun to crumble. Georgia Hewitt, who is the treasurer with the Sewanee Parent Organization and a Sewanee Elementary alum herself, said she remembers the bike pad being on the grounds when she attended in the 80s.
“We had tried to get it replaced through the Franklin County School Board for a couple of years, but funding availability prohibited this. The Sewanee Parent Organization (SPO) agreed to help with this because they had a bit of money left in the budget from last year,” Sewanee Elementary School principal Kim Tucker said.
The new bike pad was made possible thanks to joint efforts of the district, the Sewanee Parent Organization and the Sewanee Community Chest.
“The concrete was a hazard for students riding and parking, and there was also a small paved path from the school’s driveway to the bike rack area that was particularly bumpy and broken,” said Sarah Marhevsky, SPO president.
SPO member-at-large and school crossing guard Amanda Knight collected bids from local builders and arranged for the work to be done.
“Amanda was amazing in coordinating the project,” said Marhevsky. “After getting bids from local concrete companies who were interested and realizing it was a much bigger project than originally anticipated, Gipson Concrete stepped up and generously donated their services and the concrete at cost. The concrete and drain were placed, poured, and floated by Gipson Concrete, Irving Materials, Inc. and Riley Concrete Pumping.”
Marhevsky said it’s the most expensive project the SPO has taken on in recent years, with the project totaling $5,950.
“Amanda saw multiple students fall off their bikes there, and there was a drainage problem as well. The repaving has worked to address that too,” she said. “We’ve also begun looking into grants to see if we can find a way to put a cover over the bike area.”