The school district’s bus depot has temporarily landed at the Wellington High and McCormick Middle School parking lot.
“Buses were moved to the high school property over the (Jan. 9-10) weekend and operations appear to be going well over there,” said Tim Wulfhoop, business manager at the January board of education meeting. “I don’t think we’re causing any big disruption over there.”
The land abuts homes on Sheila Drive. Residents were notified by letter about the temporary location for the bus depot, but they have also been told it may become the permanent location.
Buses used to be parked at the old McCormick Middle School, but they had to be moved since the building is being demolished.
Wulfhoop said five locations around the district were researched before the WHS-McCormick parking area was chosen.
The location is the only one that is properly zoned for a bus yard, Wulfhoop said. It’s also the most economical choice because it cost only $7,000 to put up some fencing and temporary electrical stations.
Money was saved because the hard-packed gravel surface didn’t need preparation. “It’s a surface that can withstand the traffic of buses without having to do anything to it,” Wulfhoop said.
Last October, at a Wellington planning commission meeting, Wulfhoop said the high school parking lot was probably the better solution, but the athletic field might be more economical. But concerns were raised that the asphalt pavement in front of the Dickson Street athletic field was not designed for bus traffic and could break down, costing more money.
Estimates to build from scratch put the price at as much as $400,000 for pavement, electric, fence, and a depot building.
The district will need to submit a plan for its permanent location to the village for approval to ensure it meets with zoning classifications and other restrictions.
“This is one of our top projects right now,” Wulfhoop said. “We will make a decision by the end of the school year. A lot of it comes down to finances. Economically this is our best location short-term, but long-term it might not be.”
Catherine Gabe can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @ReporterGabe on Twitter.
Photos by Catherine Gabe | Wellington Enterprise
Buses have been temporarily located to an area just off the Wellington High School and McCormick Middle School parking lot.