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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Bus garage location options becoming limited

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Clay Community School Board of Trustees is continuing to look into options for a new bus garage. There are concerns the current garage (above) may not be up to safety standards. Times Staff File Photo. [Order this photo]
After months of discussion, the Clay Community Schools Transportation Department may end up staying at its current location.

During the regular session of the Clay Community School Board of Trustees meeting Thursday, Building and Grounds Director Tom Reberger, Director of Transportation Frank Misner and Holder Design Inc., Terre Haute, architect Matthew Holder presented information.

"We have worked since 2006 objectively evaluating dozens of potential sites and existing facilities," Reberger said. "We have reported numerous times that our goal is to establish a final option that will meet our needs and be something the community can afford. We have never been looking for a temporary solution."

In December 2008, CCSC was informed Indiana Insurance would no longer insure the creamery building,and at that time the corporation began leasing a trailer to provide office space for Misner and his workers. The bus hut, where the repairs and maintenance are done on school buses, is insured. However, Waldbieser Engineering, Terre Haute, recently evaluated the Quansit Hut and a copy of the report was given to board members, which sighted inefficiencies.

Seven options were presented to the board by the administration, moving the transportation department to land in the Jackson Township or Van Buren area and staying at the current location are the only ones left.

"We have disregarded expensive options that have been implemented by other school corporations, we have thoroughly evaluated our operation and determined our true needs," Reberger said. "We have not included a list of wants, we have developed options with efficient design function and operation."

Moving to Jackson or Van Buren would increase the transportation fund operating expenses so the administration decided to stay on the current lot and the board voted during the November meeting to hire an architect to look at possible sites with the administration as well as the current location.

"In the local area, we talked to three realtors, then started knocking on doors," Misner said.

He then outlined the properties they looked at in the area of North Clay Middle School and Northview High School. There is the option of an acre of land in front of North Clay, but Misner and Holder agreed it would take away from the beauty of the school as well as possibly upsetting some the neighbors when the buses start at 5:30 a.m. Placing the bus garage behind North Clay would upset its soccer fields, track practices, football practices and cross country practices.

"So you are affecting the kids if we put it in the back," Misner said, "And you are affecting the beauty if you put it in the front."

Holder broke down the current location into a schematic design, which would allow for a 100X100 pre-engineered metal building. It would accommodate 25-30 buses as well as four bays on the site as well as one wash bay and office space.

"The utilities are already in place which will save you some dollars," he said. "This is really in my opinion the best way to use the site, I think it makes the most sense for a new building garage."

One of the perks to staying on the current lot is the communication Misner and Reberger have with the neighbors, as well as Brazil City Police Department.

"They call us if a driver comes in late at night and leaves the lights on," Misner said. "We have very good neighbors."

Though Holder talked with the board about the current state of the economy and its affect on the construction industry and how now is a good time to build.

"It's not people don't want the bus garage," board member Tina Heffner said. "It's just about doing what is best for the corporation economically."

"I think this location is the best option we have left," Misner added.

The board was not asked to vote, however the topic will be on the agenda at the next meeting with a possible vote

"If we put it back on the agenda for next month and it is voted down, where do we go from here," board member Terry Barr said. "What is plan B?"

"We really don't have a plan B any more," Supt. Dan Schroeder responded.

While admitting the Transportation Department is able to work out of its current location, Reberger said the corporation needs to get the ball moving into finding a solution before it is too late.

"We have shown for years that we can operate out of this location," Reberger said. "We need to move forward with this option now, before we face the serious consequences of doing nothing."

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Dear Trustees,

We are trapped in a cycle of spending money foolishly and we need to break the cycle. We over-sized Northview to the point where people do not even know each other in that building which is not good for education or control. We persisted on under-sizing our elementary schools to the point that we will be wasting education dollars on support functions in those buildings for the next forty years. Now, the inclination appears to be to keep the transportation facility in it's present location, which is not large enough to put the buildings and grounds or a new Central Office on.

Frankly, I would love the opportunity to walk through the homes of whoever backs that suggestion to see if their canned goods are scattered from the roof to the foundation or in the kitchen as most people keep them. That suggestion must come from only considering the needs of the Transportation Department without considering the total needs of the corporation. The corporation needs to cut operating expenses everywhere it can. With the need of a new Transportation facility and a new Central Office in the very near future, we have the opportunity to put those facilities and the Buildings and Grounds Department on one piece of property. It does not have to be adjunct to the Northview, North Clay, Cumberland campus, but it should be as close as possible, even if it is to the north, west, or south. If it is closer than the current distance to the Transportation Facility, every foot saves money.

We have far too much education sitting on the board to be spending the taxpayer's contributions in ways that do not pay off by educating students. We hire college graduates with advanced degrees to run this corporation. Why, then, isn't all of that education and the sense that a high-school drop out exercises in putting canned goods in one place brought to bear on the corporation's problems? The saying has been used for years that you should "think outside the box". Why cannot anyone with a high degree of education see that we need to do just that. Look at the corporation's building needs as if we did not have the first building. Would you build them in the locations where the current facilities are?

-- Posted by Leo L. Southworth on Sun, Dec 13, 2009, at 3:11 PM

Plan B is to stop spending so much on additional physical plant and start replacing the academic cuts that are continuing to be made each year at all levels...I only hear about the ones at elementary level right now but KNOW they are continued additional cuts each year at high school level.

The primary job here is to educate students, not to have them schooled in specific buildings. We have lost the main focus here. Big time.

As far back as when Northview was built in far northern portion of county and not in center where two buildings didn't have to duplicate things all the time, up to now continuing to leave all the elementaries open in order for grandchildren to attend the same school as their grandparents. That is not a valid reason. HAving schools within walking distance is not a valid reason. Even the reason that parents need to be able to walk to school for conferences and open houses not valid as a lot less expensive to get a shuttle 2-3 times a year to do this. This is not the responsibility of the school. Educating the students is and this is not yet the priority in this corporation.

Wake up people! Plan B? Terry, search your heart. You know what plan B is. All the board does. It's just not the popular decision. It's for the voters. Not the students. Shed superfluous buildings and get more teachers in the classrooms. Redistrict lines so existing rooms will be better utilized. Invest in getting that trimester system set up in HS so students can get those classes. This should have been plan A and the buildings plan B.

-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Mon, Dec 14, 2009, at 8:37 AM

Detract from the beauty of the school? Annoy neighbors? Put a soccer field out front then. Plant a load of trees to dampen bus noise for the neighbors and serve as an outdoor classroom or habitat area. Maybe in 30 years they will have timber to sell for a profit. We already own the land.

If we must have it we should do it with as many resources that we already have on hand and keep the money in the classrooms. Too much money has already been spent on appearances. Considering the huge deficit that Congress has just blessed us with, I don't see much in our future as far as federal or state dollars.

I attended a small rural school where we didn't worry much about appearances. They saved enough to eventually consolidate 3 schools and now have first class facilities. Guess who maintained the sports fields? The players did and we took pride in our first rate baseball diamond. I think I recieved a good education despite our budget and limited resources. It can happen here too.

I'm not going to hammer on the board as I have never attended a meeting. I do ask the board to take a step back and consider coming up with their own plan then hire a consultant to examine the plan. It sounds like we paid for big box full of nothing in this case.

-- Posted by michael.galloway1 on Mon, Dec 14, 2009, at 9:52 AM

I HAVE attended many meetings but it does no good. It's all about appearances, not education. IF the zoning allows a bus garage and central office building at middle school, the board has obligation to use what they have to the students' best advantage. The neighbors knew about the zoning when they moved there and that was the chance they took buying a place without it being residentially zoned. That is why houses are less expensive in non residentially zoned areas many times. It's the board's job [obligation] to work for the students, not the neighbors.

-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Mon, Dec 14, 2009, at 3:49 PM

L. L. Southworth, you are confusing higher education with common sense. One does not guarantee the other.

-- Posted by I. M. Lee Thall, Esq. on Tue, Dec 15, 2009, at 3:41 PM

@ Lee Thall..........lol, at times, higher education seems to deprive people of the sense to come in out of the rain that they were born with. I've had to remove the door of the office of a MENSA member as he broke his nose three times in a month by trying to go through it without first turning the handle so it would swing inward. I never did figure out how he ever got out of the first time, must have always taken two attempts.

-- Posted by Leo L. Southworth on Thu, Dec 17, 2009, at 12:49 PM

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