GENESEO — With an unsatisfactory school bus garage, and no support from the voters in 2009 or 2010 to build a new facility, what is the Geneseo Central School Board to do?
On January 19, a fourteen member Transportation Facilities Task Force was instated to find the best options for the district going forward.
“The Transportation Facilities Task Force is charged with developing a recommendation to the Board of Education to determine what should be done with the transportation facility on South Street, which is unsatisfactory in its current state,” says Superintendent Tim Hayes. “The Task Force will consider sharing partnerships with other districts and municipalities, develop a facility plan, and make a recommendation to the Board of Education on or Before August 5, 2014.”
The Geneseo Central School District’s bus garage complex on Route 20A was built in 1940. Since that time, the district has increased its enrollment, and outgrown this location. The task force will explore how to provide the best transportation to the district. During a required Five-Year Building Condition Survey taken in 2010 by the Board of Education, this bus garage complex was deemed “unsatisfactory” and “at the end of its useful life.”
Despite the murky future for the complex, the current lot is an asset. In the district’s future plans, one possibility is to build a new facility, appropriate for this district, at the current location. There are other possibilities under consideration, however, including a new facility operated in partnership with one or more neighboring school districts.
At the February 5th meeting Superintendent Tim Hayes committed to sending a letter to the superintendents of neighboring districts requesting partnerships. A project this large, potentially housing buses from other districts, would have to be supported financially by other districts. However, as of January 19th, the letter has not been sent.
In addition to the three board members on the task force, there are group includes other members of the school community: Shannon Loughlin, Task Force’s Chairperson; Roger Collins, Vice Chair; Phil Jones, Secretary; Jim Memmott, Assistant Secretary; School Board members David Dwyer, Al Dietrich, and Craig Phelps; and Catherine Bennett, Bill Keihl, Martin Miskell, Tracy Levee, Tom Curtin, Art Hatton, and Jim Allen.
The possibility that Geneseo might partner with neighboring districts for their future bus transportation is not a slam dunk. As of the Board of Education meeting on February 5th, the most likely partner, Livonia, was not ready to partner with Geneseo, and therefore Geneseo was not ready to commit to building a new facility.
As the board members discussed possible solutions, task force and Geneseo School Board member Al Dietrich (also retired School Business Manager for Livonia) indicated he would support building a new facility in the Geneseo district if the school had a partner in the project.
By the end of the meeting, Steve Miskell, Board President, agreed that Geneseo needs a new facility, but said he is not locked into building it in Geneseo.
Once the Task Force has assessed all the options, task force members hope for strong support from district voters on a project referendum.
The minutes from the task force meetings will be posted on the Geneseo Central School’s Board of Education web site.
Questions for more information can be submitted through their website.