This page is dedicated to the men and women who safely transport Missouri's students to and from school each day. If you have a driver or attendant in your district who you feel deserves special recognition - whether for a milestone anniversary, or for service "above and beyond" the call of duty - please contact Shirley Francis, MAPT Executive Director, to submit your story.
by Michael Sharp, Transportation Director
Republic R-III School District
With the start of the second semester of the 2015-16 school year, the Transportation Department of the Republic R-III School District found itself in a new home.
A bond issue was passed in 2012 with the intent of building a new “Bus Barn” for the department, to replace the current single-bay facility with a small community room that seated about a dozen drivers, and inadequate restroom facilities. Just over half of the district’s buses were somewhat covered, being double-parked beneath a three sided barn-style building while the remaining buses remain exposed to the elements year round. Space was at a premium in the shop, and if more than one bus had an issue it generally had to wait to be worked on if the single bay was taken up by another bus.
The new facility features a drive-through double bay capable of housing up to four buses at a time. Also new to the district is a bus lift, capable of lifting a full sized bus up and holding it securely for work to be done beneath the bus. No more crawling beneath the buses! The building design was arranged so that each of the electrical outlets in the work bays resides on a separate breaker to reduce the opportunity for an overloaded circuit.
The community room has the ability to house seventy-six individuals for meals, training, or spending time together between routes. This room also houses a new refrigerator and icemaker; mail slots for every driver, aide and sub driver; counter space for a coffee maker and even an area to place an electric griddle if need be as well as a kitchen sink for cleanup. A separate conference room, driver room (complete with a pair of computers for drivers use), several offices for personnel, and a secured area for parts also are included in the building.
Another room in the shop area will contain the air compressor and oil containers, with a system to move oil into the bays via an air pressure line to complete services on the buses. A blacktopped parking lot with room for over seventy cars and additional Handicapped Parking spaces will house the personal vehicles of the transportation staff.
Doors will be electronically opened using a key fob system, allowing drivers access to facilities at the end of trips and on weekends. The entire area is surrounded by a six foot tall fence, complete with two electric gates which will open automatically as the buses approach, removing the need for any driver to exit the bus and open the gates by hand in the off hours.
A canopy that can completely cover forty buses will house the route buses, with parking for an additional twenty-three buses within the compound for future growth.
Wi-Fi is available beneath the canopy for the mechanics to utilize with their laptops while checking out buses without having to bring them inside of the building for minor issues.
The Republic, MO community has shown its dedication to the transportation of its children by approving the new facility, and the staff of the Transportation Department would like to express its appreciation.