BOULDER, Colo. (KDVR) — Students who walk or bike to Manhattan Middle School in the Boulder Valley School District can expect to see some changes in the coming years.

Colorado’s Safe Routes to School program just awarded the city of Boulder $707,222 to make improvements around Manhattan Middle School that would make it safer for students to walk, bike or rollerblade.

“We just knew from talking with families and the administration, and also some neighbors, there were a lot of opportunities to make that trip to school safer and more comfortable,” said Melanie Sloan, Boulder’s principal project manager.

The district estimates nearly a quarter of its student population walks, bikes or skates to school on any given day. The grant is to make it safer for these students and encourage more students to do the same. Prior to applying for the grant, the city talked with neighbors and students to hear their biggest concerns. The main issues were crosswalks and speeding along Manhattan Drive. City representatives said this money will address those issues.

“Things we’ll look at are widening that sidewalk, maybe making it a multi-use path, adjusting the street so it can slow speeds down, and make those crossings feel more comfortable and also rebuilding that crossing itself, “Sloan said. “So as everyone is coming together and connecting to the school in the morning and afternoon that it’s safer, more visible, and the speeds of the cars are slower.”

The city will receive the awarded funds next year and construction will begin in 2025. Prior to construction, the city said it plans to reach out to neighbors and students again to get more community feedback for the design.