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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Bus barn location remains in limbo

Friday, January 18, 2008

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.

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I worked in an unairconditioned school for many years while the central office people sat in airconditioning. I will not support a new building for them. Spend the money to make a difference in my childrens education... not in the comfort of the administratvie staff. Teachers and kids come first. Security and adequate classrooms by far out way the luxury of a new buidling. Maybe there is a way to use the money they are about to spend for an assistant superintendent... Bet that is not even an option. This system is not fair and should be changed.

I would have gone to the school board meeting on Wednesday night to discuss it but I mistakenly took them for their word. I thought that when it was stated that all activities at NCMS were cancelled for the night it meant ALL activities

-- Posted by madmom61 on Sat, Jan 19, 2008, at 6:50 AM

I do not understand this community sometimes. You complain about the corporation spending money to make much needed repairs; But what is going to happen if the proposed plan does not go through? The schools will start to gradually fall apart more every year with no funds to make the needed repairs to them, then the school board will be FORCED at that time to take out a bond and the taxes will just go back up.

As for Central Office and the Bus garage, I have heard many of times there is nothing wrong with the bus garage or central office. How would some of you like to work in a place that is 60 - 70 years old? A place that the roof leaks, a very compact area to work in? The bus garage at the time when it was purchased for the bus garage was suitable, but now the fleet has expanded, there are more buses within the corporation now then there was back then. There are 75 buses in the fleet right now, with 3 mechanics and only ONE bus can be worked on at a time. According to state police Clay Community Schools has the WORST garage within the state for the amount of buses. I guess you could look at it this way, Clay county comes in first for something for once.

You are correct on saying that it is the teachers and curriculum that benefits the kids, but without a central office how are the teachers to get paid? How are the bills for the curriculum to get paid? For the bus garage it is probably over 60 years old, If you do not have a garage for the mechanics to work out of how are the buses going to get repaired? The corporation could just let the buses break down and nothing get done then it would be the Parents responsibility to get the kids to school themselves, and everyone knows that the parents are NOT going to do that. Everyone takes for granted what goes on behind the scenes, it takes the corporations as a whole to make the education for the children possible not just the teachers. If you take away one aspect it will all fail.

-- Posted by supporter on Sat, Jan 19, 2008, at 3:12 PM

As a taxpayer here is my remedy. I say we purchase Romas Trucking. From what I understand there is quite a bit of land available out there. From what I also understand there is already a garage out there for the buses to be worked on. Since there is plenty of land, the corporation could build a new central office on the property and it could all be together instead of buying several pieces of ground and wasting the taxpayers money. That would be the smart thing to do.

-- Posted by OntheRight08 on Mon, Jan 21, 2008, at 12:37 AM

Supporter... Kids come first. I am well aware of what it takes to get the work done behind the scenes. A new multimillion dollar building will not help them pay staff better. They worked in an old building before and can continue to do so. I fully support anything they can do to improve the buildings the kids are in. The central office people knew what they were being hired into. They sat in airconditioning and had it pretty good for years. A few more years will not hurt them.

Seperate the projects into school repairs and support staff and it will win. The public will pick kids and there will not be a stink. Central office staff already have their insurance covered and several other perks the teachers and staff do not get. Who cares if they are a bit cramped.

And are you trying to tell me that the bus garage can not do it's job because it is small? That doesnt float either.

-- Posted by madmom61 on Mon, Jan 21, 2008, at 7:41 AM

And one more thing... I get my daughter to and from school everyday. I am guessing a lot of other parenst do as well. Don't assume that parents won't do their jobs.

-- Posted by madmom61 on Mon, Jan 21, 2008, at 10:48 AM

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