When architects, financial advisors and bond advisors suggested a $53 million renovation project in fall 2007, the public took particular exception to two of the items in the proposal.
A $4.3 million plan for a new bus garage was suggested, as well as $2 million to create a new central office building.
When it became obvious to Transportation Director Frank Misner and Director of Buildings and Grounds Tom Reberger that the public would not support those estimates, they found a solution outside of the renovation project.
The $4.3 million figure represented a new location and state-of-the-art building, which would need to meet strict state and environmental regulations.
Reberger and Misner presented a proposal to the Clay Community Schools School Board for a new bus building, security measures and a storage facility for approximately $800,000-$975,000.
It had been suggested by many community members the corporation to look at pre-existing buildings to replace the current bus barn.
Misner and Reberger had looked into the old Romas Trucking facility on State Road 59 three different times, which is being sold for $800,000 by Russ Fisher.
They also explored several other properties within a radius of Brazil, including farmland owned by school board president Terry Barr.
The Romas property is 26 acres of land with a 13-year-old building designed for truck repair and maintenance and an above ground fuel tank.
The biggest issue with having the bus facility on the old Romas property is most routes in the county are north of Interstate 70.
Forty-five of the 58 daily bus routes would need to go through the busy intersections of S.R. 59 and State Road 42, and 59 and I-70 twice a day.
Misner said the location would also increase fuel costs for the corporation, which is the one variable cost in his budget.
As an alternative to the Romas property, Misner and Reberger talked to Sam Emmert about the Brazil City Coal Yard, which is across the street from the current location.
Emmert's first offer for the property is $125,000, and Dennis Meneely would be able to build a duplicate of the Romas building for $358,000.
Reberger and Misner say they would also be able to do site development as well as security and communication updates all for under the $800,000 cost of the Romas property.
Reberger said the corporation could also demolish the old creamery and current bus garage to make way for a maintenance and warehousing building, which would add $175,000 to the total bill.
Tom Neff, of Schmidt Associates, reviewed the current corporation facilities when preparing to put together the renovation proposal.
Neff said the bus garage and the central office buildings, on a scale of 1-100, were both rated as zeros.
Wednesday night, Neff carefully called the buildings "inadequate."
Misner and Reberger said the money for the bus garage project would not be part of a renovation plan, because they know the public would most likely reject the project if the garage is included.
"We're in the kid business, and we want to make that our priority, but there comes a time when you have employees, and you need to take care of them too," Reberger said.