WORTHINGTON — Despite several setbacks over the past year, District 518 is moving forward with the completion of its bus garage.
Last April, in an effort to lower transportation costs and get more competitive contract bids, the district purchased a seven-acre tract of land on Stower Drive to build a new bus garage. Construction was estimated to be completed by October to have the buses ready before winter hit. However, the project’s completion was delayed due to complications in the permitting process and the harsh early winter the Worthington area saw.
“We really got held up in the permitting process,” said John Landgaard, Superintendent for District 518. “We were supposed to receive the correct permits before August 1, but for whatever reason we didn’t get them from the state until after that date, so that set us back about three months.”
The new permits required the district to increase the size of a storm water retention pond, which increased the cost of the facility to about $51,000, according to Landgaard.
“The new plan is to have the garage be completed by June 1, to be ready for the new school year,” he added.
When the garage is finished it will hold approximately 32 buses, and Bud’s Bus Service will be leasing the garage from the district.
The total cost of the project is now approximately $2.3 million, but Landgaard confirmed it is still within the district’s expected price range.
Most of the money for the garage will be coming out of the general fund, and there will be no tax impact.
“Even with the additional $51,000, we only had one other change order that cost $2,500, so ... financially we’re still on track with how much we’re spending,” Landgaard stated. We’re right on target.”
Due to savings in transportation contracts, the district expects to pay off the bus garage in approximately 20 years.
The temporary garage on Rowe Avenue saw no complications during the school year, and workers from Bud’s Bus Service faced the winter head on.
“We didn’t have any major incidents this winter, and the bus service has been very good about reacting to situations if anything did pop up,” Landgaard said. “We’ve been very happy with them.”
Daily Globe Reporter Erin Trester may be reached at 376-7322.