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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Decision on bus garage up in the air

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Frank Misner
Members of the Clay Community School Corporation Board of Trustees and thirteen members of the public toured the Wallace Bros. Inc. property, located at 2067 W. United States Highway 40, Tuesday.

Three members of the board -- President Brian Atkinson, Terry Barr and Jennifer Kaelber -- were able to attend the tour of the facility. Dottie King, who was not present for the tour, attended the discussion at North Clay Middle School.

Ted Jackson, Tina Heffner and Forrest Buell were not in attendance for the discussion, but had toured the property Monday night.

"Tom and I have been over this property several times," Director of Transportation Frank Misner said at the meeting following the tour. "It is a nice facility, it isn't perfect but as close as we can get. It is the best of the options and the least expensive."

Misner explained how the building would be used, and how the buses would utilize the south entrance of the property in order to avoid the dangerous intersection of U.S. 40 and County Road 200 West (Waterworks Road).

"I would require all of the buses to enter and exit at the south entrance because of the intersection," Misner said. "The bus hut where we are currently using repairs can be used for dry storage."

He and Larry Wallace also explained the use of the building. Misner explained what each location and bay would specialize in, whether it is mechanical work or a wash bay and Wallace explained what they are currently using the area for. The building is 2200 sq. ft., which is a large change from the 700 sq. ft., which the transportation department has.

Misner added to further avoid the intersection, exiting buses would turn on to Waterworks Road, travel south and take other area roads back to the main outlets.

Dan Schroeder
Supt. Dan Schroeder reaffirmed if the school corporation were to purchase a property, they will want to do it without bonding.

"It is really something that we would like to not have to do," he said.

If the Wallace property were to be purchased, it would still need to be appraised by two separate appraisers, and the corporation would have to analyze its cash balance as of June 30, 2009, to determine how much money could be spent.

However, board members who attended the tour came away feeling confident in the possibility of using the building as a bus garage.

Currently $550,000 has been set aside for the project in the rainy-day fund.

"I am impressed with the facility," President Brain Atkinson said. "It looks like something that would be a good investment."

Though no vote was taken the issue will be on the list of agenda items during the April 9 school board meeting which will take place at 7:30 p.m. in the Auditeria of Clay City Junior/Senior High School.

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I just wish we had some decent roads for these buses to drive on!!

-- Posted by th1953 on Tue, Mar 31, 2009, at 11:05 PM

Our County Commissioners are working on getting the roads fixed.

-- Posted by Leo L. Southworth on Wed, Apr 1, 2009, at 1:57 AM

I do think that updating bus maintenance facilities is long overdue. My only concern is that the corporation is expanding its facilities yet again with no sign of increased income to maintain them.

The article indicated that present facility was to be used for storage; maybe to replace old building that was condemned? Eventually we need to be thinking about selling off some of the real estate that is either no longer being used fully or is so outdated that the cost to keep it outweighs the benefits of its use. I am thinking about central office for example... and maybe old transportation property. So maybe down the road be looking for how to incorporate maintenance and administration offices into other existing facilities maybe?... or even onto other properties that are owned already? Would be nice to know just how much larger the non vehicle areas or land at Wallace facility is for possible future expansion possibilities. Maybe someone who attended last night has this info? I could not attend last night.

Another thing is that there is a residential property adjoining the Wallace facility. Need to be cognizant of what is stored outside of the buildings and noise level so as not to cause ill feelings with neighbors. Good neighbor is good to have observing the property during off hours to discourage vandalism.

-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Wed, Apr 1, 2009, at 7:02 AM

This might be a good deal, but there are alot of good deals out there right now. This is not a good time for the school board to be spending rainy day money! also, Jenny Moore is right on. Need to sell the surplus real estate... and we definitely dont need to take on a large building we can't afford to maintain. Why can't this wait?

-- Posted by tenspeed1984 on Wed, Apr 1, 2009, at 8:19 AM

For all of you asking "why cant this wait". I believe the transportation dept. has "waited" long enough. The old facility was in horrible condition. Also, I would be careful what you wish for, we are blessed to have the school corp. do their own maintenance. There are alot of school corps that contract this out to maintenance companies and their buses are in much worse condition. When the state inspects our buses annually they are always impressed of the condition our buses are in. When we have a problem with a bus, it is promptly corrected, rather than waiting for the next time it is scheduled to go in for maintenance. I think you need to support the decision to spend some money and give these fine gentlemen the facitily they deserve to maintain our childrens transportation to and from school. It is severely overdue. Keep up the good work guys!

-- Posted by WhateversClever on Wed, Apr 1, 2009, at 7:19 PM


While I do support the immediate need for this purchase, what I was trying to indicate was that I'd like to see a more long term plan and usage rate for all the buildings in the corporation. Too many times we seem to be putting out fires, like the maintenance building that went downhill until insurance company condemned it. Why not have a study done like they did in Vigo county to learn which buildings are being used to their fullest and if there is a way to eliminate one or two of them to keep our maintenance and administrative costs at lowest possible rate. I have suggested this to the school board and pretty much got the answer back from President Brian Atkins that I needed "to stop fighting the Viet Nam War" and I was like the movie "Ground Hog Day". He indicated that the majority who participated "in the process" wanted the expansions. He is right about that. We have a lack of participation in what is going on in local government. Commenting on this forum is not enough. It takes a lot of time to figure out what is really going on. That said, I will continue to be like Ground Hog Day and bring up the need to reassess our facility needs in the school corporation until something is done about it or more people go to school board meetings and also ask for it. Until we do so, we will never know if we are continuing to pay for things that we don't use completely.

As I think Leo said, maybe there could be room for Central office to shift over to another location? That would let us sell the old facility in Knightsville. Maybe there is room at one of the elementary schools to incorporate LEEAP Center or fragments of it if that would work? We won't know until we look at how much the buildings are being used. In the mean time are we wasting money that could be spent putting teachers into classrooms by spending it on maintenance and administrative personnel?

It will be February 2nd until this is looked at Mr Atkinson. Hopefully others will write to you and also ask for this to be done. Why is clay county so against following another county's idea? Just because we didn't think of it doesn't mean it's a bad one?

-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Thu, Apr 2, 2009, at 6:24 AM

I appreciate the suggestion that Clay Community Schools copy Vigo County and have a facility condition and usage study completed like the one that is now being conducted in Vigo County. I believe Vigo is using Schmidt Associates of Indianapolis. I have read that the research that is near completion in Vigo is extremely thorough with specific recommendations. Their final report should recommend school facility options for the entire Vigo community and school board to consider very soon. This could lead to more community input and a chance for those against the Vigo plan that is chosen to remonstrate against moving forward. If the Vigo remonstrators lose, the community and school board could them proceed with a plan for state approval.

Oh My.........Was Schmidt Associates the firm that did the facility study in Clay Community Schools nearly two years ago? Maybe Vigo copied Clay?

-- Posted by Thomas on Thu, Apr 2, 2009, at 10:04 AM

The idea to sell the Knightsville facility is a good one. One of the problems might be that this is a really bad time to sell real estate of any type. We would not receive our best value in this economic climate.

Also is this building a Historic Building? That would severely limit the purchase options.

-- Posted by BackHomeAgain on Thu, Apr 2, 2009, at 1:51 PM


IF indeed Clay County had an evaluation done two years ago, why then has it not been referred to when school board members asked to do one? If one was done, maybe the board didn't like what it said??? To be sure, I will ask for the results.

Thanks for the info.

-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Fri, Apr 3, 2009, at 7:40 AM

Well I think the Wallace property would be a good investment & they need a place to work on the busses at. But why not put centeral office there or at Cumberland (Alternative school) They dont need there own building. But the school board will do as they wish always have. How many different propertys did they buy when they wanted to build a new school

-- Posted by kd323 on Mon, Apr 6, 2009, at 8:47 AM

Schmidt did indeed do a feasibility study for Clay county but it DID not due a capacity/use study of the various buildings within the corporation. The study was ONLY to note the percentage of usability of each school and what it would take improvement wise and how to financially accomplish it. The question as to whether or not each school was being used to it's capacity or what the past demographic numbers were that might project future student enrollment were not addressed as they were in the Vigo study. The company only does what they are asked to do. Vigo only copied Clay in that they used the same firm. I did find other studies at Central office however that DID recommend the closing of one elementary building and possibly shedding both the central office and possibly the building the LEEAP center is in [this would not terminate ANY of the programs. Only relocate them within the city].


-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Mon, Apr 13, 2009, at 7:40 AM

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