GALION — After years of discussion, planning and financing, Galion City Schools; new bus garage was unveiled Tuesday morning to a crowd of city and school officials, as well as bus drivers, maintenance personnel and contractors.
Tuesday was also the first day bus drivers utilized the grounds, located on the south side of the school district campus, leaving and returning from their rounds that morning.
Galion City Schools Superintendent Jim Grubbs welcomed all those in attendance for the official ribbon cutting and went over a brief history of the project. He thanked all who were involved in planning, building and constructing the state-of-the-art facility.
“This project has been a community project — or at least a community idea — for many years,” Grubbs started. “When the schools were first built out here, the goal was to have a bus garage on campus.”
Hesaid having the bus garage and maintenance facility on the other side of townwas not a feasible operation. “
We traveled on average over 25,000 miles a year with nobody on a bus,” he said. “Back and forth across the town. That just didn’t make sense when it comes to dollars and cents. That is a lot of time.
“Then we had the opportunity to purchase some more land to keep the bus garage out of someone’s back yard,” he said. “I think that was the biggest downfall the first time. We were trying to put it basically in someone’s back yard and there was some resistance. I don’t blame them. I would not have been happy if it would have been that close to my house. So we understood and we tried to do something different. Then we were able to get this land here and we’re a little bit close to that house, but other than that we are pretty much far away from everybody else. We plan on putting some green space over there this spring to also help block the bus garage. So we do have some other plans that are not done.”
Grubbs thanked the school board that initially agreed to purchase the land and construct the bus garage. He said it also took a lot of work with the city to rezone the land as the property had various zoning limitations that initially prevented them from constructing the facility. Grubbs said the law director was able to redesign some zoning requirements to allow the district to build the bus garage on campus. He noted that the land was previously zoned residential, preventing a bus garage.
Grubbs also recognized the district treasurer for seeking out funding in a unique way to the get the financing for the building without having to go to the public and pass a levy.
“That was critical,” he said.
He explained the process continued with the district finding an architect for the project. Ultimately, MKC was chosen for the design phase. When the project went out to bid, Grubbs said they wanted to make sure to keep local people working and sought out contractors from the area.
“Weithman Brothers was the lead contractor. When when we met, we talked about where our subcontractors were coming from and we did everything we could to get as many local subcontractors on this job as possible,” Grubbs noted.
He also introduced the new transportation supervisor Sherri McMullen.
”She has done a fantastic job,” Grubbs added. “She comes at it with a whole different approach then we came at it before.”
He said McMullen was the transportation secretary for the past several years.
“In my opinion, she did a lot of the job, and it was kind of a perfect fit,” Grubbs said.
The entire cost of the project, which includes a soccer complex, comes in at just under $2 million.
“I think the soonest it would be paid off is 12 years, but more likely in a 15-year period of time,” Grubbs said.
We were able to finance it with a bank, and that financing is kind of like a lease option,” Grubbs said, explaining the annual payment is approximately $200,000.
Visitors and participants in a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new Galion City Schools bus garage check out the interior of the building that Galion superintendent Jim Grubbs calls a state-of-the-art facility.
Galion City Schools superintendent Jim Grubbs address Galion-area workers and residents who took part in Tuesday’s ribbon-cutting program.
Galion City Schools officially opened it’s new bus garage. The new building, on the Galion City Schools campus, replaced the former garage on Edwards Street.
Honored guest and ribbon-cutters were numerous Tuesday morning as a ceremony officially opened Galion City Schools new bus garage.