Richmond County Schools built a new bus garage on History Land Highway where the sixth-grade building used to be for the old middle school. They expect to start moving in at the end of the month and have it fully up and running by the end of November.
“It’s definitely going to save us time and money,” said Robbie King, director of transportation.
The school system has about 20 cars and almost 30 buses. In addition to repairing the breakdowns, there is a 5,000-mile maintenance requirement on those vehicles. The transportation crew is currently working out of a rented building, but it only has one bay.
Describing the types of challenges a single bay presents, King explained that they have faced situations where a bus was in the bay. It had been disassembled but the part needed to fix it had be ordered and would take days to come in. So, the bay was tied up, and it wasn’t productive.
“The new garage has three bays, so we can pull two buses and one car in at the same time,” said King. “This garage will also have a drive-on bus lift, something the county has never had,” he added.
“The time that [bus lift] saves alone is going to count for a lot.” It’ll relieve the physical strain of crawling under vehicles and working on your back, and makes it easier to inspect the vehicles. “It’s going to make the whole system run better,” said King.
Other features that the garage has include central air, a dedicated oil storage room, and keeping with the times, it has both male and female restrooms. There will also be office space for the mechanics to do computerized paperwork that’s increasingly being required by the state.
Contractors are putting the final touches on the building and the bus lift is expected to arrive soon. Installation and training for the bus lift should only take about a week said King.
Having the bus garage at the History Land Highway property addresses another issue explained the superintendent James G. Smith. “It was important to the school board and important to the county that that campus continue to be used.
For the full article pick up a copy of this weeks Northern Neck News 9/12/18