At a special Creston School Board meeting Monday, the board voted to place the bus garage at the AEA site west of Creston High School.
Roy Stroud, Creston School District business manager, discussed with the board members, interim Superintendent Chuck Scott and Gary Briley, maintenance director of Creston School District, the basic design of the bus garage. Board Member Galen Zumbach was not present. The placement was passed with a 3-1 vote, with Ron Dunphy voting no.
"First of all, I don't think we have a clue what it's going to take to prepare that site," said Dunphy. "And if we put the bus barn there it's not just about preparing 300 feet of depth to place that building, we're talking about extending access to it clear over to our propery ... I don't know that it works with the AEA, but my thought is no, don't use it."
The former AEA site is located at1405 S. Lincoln St. The bus garage would consist of a steel building with 14 stalls, three service bays and a wash bay. Every two buses get one 24-feet-tall double door, and the floor will be gravel. The building will also contain offices, a break room and storage.
"Actually I think our intent was to even have 50 feet available for a bus, which gave you space on each end, knowing that the small vehicles, none of them could be longer than about 18 feet, so we gave 25 feet for them," said Stroud.
The building is sized so the entire bus fleet and small vehicle fleet would be able to fit inside the cold-storage unit.
"I know a lot of districts don't have their buses under storage and this is going to be an experience this winter, I think ... But you know, you get a freezing rain or something, how many hours are going to be spent trying to warm a bus up, and fuel costs, trying to scrape windows? If we don't get the windows scraped good enough and we have an accident? ..." said Briley
The plan for the garage is to use the existing concrete at the AEA site so it will eventually break up and can be replaced when it is the main project to discuss. The dirt work would include leveling and structural fill to be put in. Dirt work is expected to cost more than $60,000, additional utilities is expected to cost more than $70,000, so the total amount will be closer to $150,00 or more.
"Since you had a bus garage, definitely put one back that will accomodate everything you own," said Scott. "It's just like at home, if you have a piece of equipment it will deteriorate faster if it's out in the elements, so try to build something that you need. ... Last week I rode a couple bus routes and as the drivers came back in they always commented on the sharp curves going around the high school and the amount of traffic. Where I'm going with this is that I think long term we would really like to have you on the AEA site. That's input from drivers and so forth."
The original building costs are $620,000, and after insurance the school district will be required to put forth $205,000.
"Through all of our discussions and stuff like that (we) have tried to develop something that is a long-term fix that is going to meet some long-term needs," said Stroud.
In other school board news:
•The high school saferooms to be used as classrooms passed with a three-to-one vote.
•Credit cards for the superintendent and business manager have been looked at and will be approved at next month's meeting, with stipulations such as it must be kept in the office and there will be a $5,000 spending limit.
•The possibility of handrails for the high school bleachers requires more research and will be discussed again at next month's meeting.