GALION — Galion City Schools moved a step closer to constructing a bus garage on its campus when Galion City Council approved rezoning the property the district acquired several years ago as Educational Services District.
“The first thing the Galion community should understand is that we will not be asking for a tax increase to construct the bus garage,” said Galion schools superintendent Jim Grubbs. “We also have zero interest in connecting Heise Park Lane and Highland Avenue as part of this project, and we have no plans to use that area for the bus garage.”
Buses are expected to enter and exit the bus garage on the access road that starts at the Galion Middle School parking lot. The vehicles will only go south as needed to enter the bus lot.
“We think the bus garage on the campus provides an extra level of safety and security for students and staff,” Grubbs said “We will save critical time should the need arise to evacuate a building, or the entire campus, in an emergency situation that requires expedient transportation for student safety with the bus garage on campus.”
In addition to the added mileage expenses caused by empty buses, the district also must pay drivers’ wages for driving back and forth from the campus to the current bus garage, which equates to a minimum of 25 minutes of additional time spent daily. Current maintenance staff members spend several hours daily — as needed — going back and forth between the current maintenance facility and the campus.
“We currently travel over 25,000 miles a year with no one in our buses going back and forth through the city, which is an unnecessary cost,” said Grubbs. “The proceeds from selling the old facility; the savings from wear and tear on the buses; comebined with fuel savings and minimal savings on wages will all help in paying for the new facility.”
The Board of Education approved MKC Architects to lead the project.
Grubbs anticipates building plans will include shielding the east and west sides of the bus garage by adding additional trees and shrubs, while not removing the tree line on the south side of the proposed property area.
The district will soon launch an informational page on its website designed to give community members an opportunity to ask questions about the specific bus garage project, dispel rumors about the project in the community and provide updates on the project’s status with the community.
“We are going to work hard to be as transparent about this bus garage as possible,” said Grubbs. “We welcome feedback from our community and look forward to working collaboratively in making this much needed addition to our campus a reality.”