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."