Friday, September 19, 2014

Construction to Begin on New Transportation Facility

School Board members, architects, engineers, contractors,
and district personnel break ground at the site of the district's
new transportation facility set to open the summer of 2015. 
School bus drivers and their families joined planners and school district leaders for a ground-breaking ceremony Wednesday on the site where construction on the district's new transportation center is set to begin in a few days.  The $3.8 million project will be completed next summer. The centerpiece of the project is a 10,627 square foot building to house transportation department offices, a meeting room for bus drivers, and work bays for four buses.  A secured parking lot will hold 56 buses.

The facility is being constructed on the north end of a 17-acre property located on the northeast corner of Eagles Parkway and Sni-A-Bar Boulevard, three-quarters of a mile west of Grain Valley High School.  Buses will enter and exit the facility from Sni-A-Bar Boulevard.  The south half of the property, along Eagles Parkway, will remain undeveloped at this time.

Street view of the new transportation center, looking north.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Roy Moss states the importance of a new transportation facility, “We need a modern transportation facility to secure and maintain our growing fleet of buses.” Dr. Moss adds, “Our long-range plan calls for ongoing additions and renovation to the high school to grow its capacity to approximately 1500 students.  Moving the buses to a different location allows the expansion of the high school to continue.”  The district's school buses have been housed behind the high school since 1997, when the district had just 20 buses.  

The second phase of a multiple-year expansion and renovation of the high school was completed in time for the start of the current school year.  There are 1100 students in the high school this year.  The capacity of the high school building was 850 students just three years ago.

Dr. Moss states that the School Board has set aside funds over the past few years specifically for this type of project.  "We recognized several years ago that there would be a time when our bonding capacity would be stretched to keep up with demand for new classroom and student activity space.”

According to Dr. Moss, 4060 students attend Grain Valley Schools in grades Kindergarten through twelfth grade this year, up from 2160 students just ten years ago, “This is the next step on an on-going journey of growth as a school district.  We will continue to plan and prepare.”  Site planning for the facility also leaves room for future additions to the facility to potentially accommodate twice as many buses and twice as many work bays.