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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Bus Barn location still in limbo

Monday, January 18, 2010

Tina Heffner
The Clay Community School Corporation transportation department is still looking for a place to park.

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.

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I am certainly glad to read that everyone seems to be in agreement that something needs to be done about this issue. Thank you Brian for pointing out the fact that this is a LONG term commitment. One that needs to be acted on much sooner than later.

That brings me to another glaring issue our school corporation has to deal with as soon as possible; the central offices need to be included in this project. I was in that building last year for the first time. WOW did that bring back bad memories of the old Brazil Senior High building crumbling around us as we attended school there. The staffers of our schools deserve alot better!!!

One last thing and then my rant will end. To the school board members PLEASE!!!!!! don't let this turn into another years long argument that ultimately cost all tax payers thousands/millions of dollars.

-- Posted by IHMagnum on Tue, Jan 19, 2010, at 8:39 AM

LOL....we all know that we need a new Maintenance facility as well as a new Central Office.

I have to agree with the decision that the board made for many of the reasons that they expressed. The current location is too small for our needs without costly expansion. The bus garage, since we need to move it, should move closer to where the majority of buses must travel on a daily basis. Our other support facilities, the new Central Office and Facilities (Buildings and Grounds) Department, should be located as close to the new bus facility as possible to reduce employee travel costs when jobs require that they move between those three locations.

If we must do something quickly to ensure employee safety, let's not do something permanent that we will pay for in the long run with high operating costs. Let's get that second opinion from someone we are not paying to tell us what we "want to hear", let's get a more objective opinion. However, this was the first time I ever heard of the suggestion being made that OSHA should be called to look at a building voluntarily by any organization. Most of the times that I know of, employees make the report that brings in OSHA and the organization dreads it. I almost choked and what popped into my head popped right out of my mouth. Something like, "When OSHA comes in, we are going to need somewhere to fix buses the next day!" LOL

-- Posted by Leo L. Southworth on Tue, Jan 19, 2010, at 11:01 AM

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