Students walking from their homes to Rose Hamilton Elementary School this fall have a safer path, thanks to donations from two local businesses.  

A dangerous walkway to Rose Hamilton Elementary School has been repaired. Photo supplied by Kyle Turner

Last spring, Centerville-Abington Community Schools Superintendent Mike McCoy called the district’s insurance provider, Turner & Shepherd Insurance, with a concern about the path in the Rose Hamilton neighborhood that allowed students to walk from their homes to the school.

Turner described the concrete walkway, which had been built when the neighborhood was constructed in the late ’60s and early ’70s, as in disrepair and dangerous.

Because the neighborhood has no homeowners’ association, no contingencies for upkeep have ever been addressed, Turner said.

CACS doesn’t own the ground that the path sets upon, and neither do the neighbors on each side of the path. 

Workers help repair a dangerous walkway to Rose Hamilton Elementary School. Photo supplied by Kyle Turner

McCoy contacted City of Richmond and Wayne County officials, and both told him the path was not their problem to correct, Turner said. He said the landowners on each side of the path held similar views.

With the path in disrepair, officials reached the difficult decision to cut off access to the path. CACS attorneys, as well as Turner’s office, agreed the school district could be sued if a child was injured using the path, because its primary purpose is to access the school grounds.

Turner said he then contacted his client and friend Chad Rinehart with Rinehart’s Lawncare Landscaping & Snow Removal, to ask if he would donate his expertise and equipment, while Turner’s office paid for his labor costs to repair the path. Rinehart agreed to help, and the project has been completed. 

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A version of this article appeared in the August 16 2023 print edition of the Western Wayne News.

Millicent Martin Emery is a reporter and editor for the Western Wayne News.