In a 4-3 vote, the Clay Community School Board of Trustees voted not to continue with the option of keeping the bus garage at its current location.
Board members expressed various reasons for their vote, the most prevalent being the economy.
"We received a long list from the state board of education about cost saving considerations," board member Forrest Buell said. "I'm not sure this is the time to think about a bus garage, I agree we need one."
"I have to agree with (Buell)," board member Tina Heffner said. "In view of everything that has been said, we should continue scrutinizing this."
In December 2008, Indiana Insurance stated it would no longer insure the creamery building where the transportation office and storage facility for maintenance supplies was located. The Quansit Hut, where the repairs and maintenance are done on school buses, is currently insured. However, Waldbieser Engineering, Terre Haute, evaluated the Quansit Hut and a copy of the report was given to board members, which noted inefficiencies.
The administration began to put together a list of possible locations where the transportation department could be moved. Of the seven original options, the locations at Jackson Township or the Van Buren area and staying at the current location were the only ones left during the December meeting. By moving to Jackson or Van Buren, there would be an increase in the transportation fund operating expenses.
During the meeting, architect Matthew Holder from Holder Design Inc., Terre Haute, presented information to the board about staying on the current lot or moving to a possible location by Northview High School and North Clay Middle School.
Board members discussed the future of a bus garage as well as personnel with possible cuts to the budget, but other members still believe even with budget cuts, they should look for something that will last.
"To spend a million dollars to put a bus garage on 1.7 acres of land, to me just doesn't make sense," board member Brian Atkinson said. "Where ever we build it, it is going to be there for 50-100 years and it needs to be big enough to handle what it can do and 1.7 acres with a few pieces of property crossing over some streets is not going to do it for me.
"We have an opportunity here that with a decent amount of money to make an outstanding facility, but it's not going to be there and if we are going to do this then we need to do it right."
Board member Jennifer Kaelber mentioned during the meeting a possible location she believes would fall into the categories the board and administration are looking at.
Discussion continued with the safety of the current location with employees using the facility and what should be done to ensure safety.
"I want someone from the state looking at this," Heffner said. "Someone with the same budget issues we have"
"If safety is the issue, then a vote tonight would make no difference," Atkinson added. "If these people are truly in danger then we need to find a place to rent or lease and get them out of there. If safety is the issue, then we need to take action on that and you guys need to find a place to rent or lease."
Board members were encouraged to talk with Building and Grounds Director Tom Reberger and Transportation Director Frank Misner about their ideas and possible locations.
The next meeting of the Clay Community School Board of Trustees will be at 7 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 11, in the Media Center at North Clay Middle School.