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September 18, 2018

8/24/2018 10:48:00 AM
Unit 2 planning interim quarters for transportation
Robinson Unit 2 transportation workers will soon have a new, temporary headquarters to use while the school board continues efforts to find a permanent solution to its transportation and maintenance facility concerns.

The Unit 2 board Monday approved leasing two portable buildings that will be placed on the South Jackson Street property that houses the transportation department. One, a 60-by-12-feet office trailer will contain two offices, a meeting room and a restroom. The other will contain only restroom facilities and will measure 36 by 10 feet.

The office will lease of $536 per month plus a $3,200 fee for set up and, eventually, removal. There also may be additional costs for moving telephone, internet and radio lines.

The restroom structure is $1,000 per month plus $1,635 for set up and $1,100 for removal. It will need an electric hookup but its plumbing system is totally self-contained. The district will need to contract with a service to service its tanks, though.

The action was deemed necessary to provide transportation employees with a "safer, cleaner" working environment, board member Chad Brown said. The transportation office is a section of the former central office and the only restroom facilities are in another part of the building. To reach it, employees must pass through parts of the building with serious roof leaks.

The two portable structures resolve all the district's current needs except for new storage space. It was decided the separate restroom building was needed because the office trailer facilities are insufficient for the 25 to 30 employees that could be on hand at any given time during the school day.

This was just the next step toward a final solution, however. The board has been discussing construction of a new transportation and maintenance facility behind Robinson High School as well as possible alternatives. One is repairing the South Jackson facility.

Superintendent Josh Quick said he had contracted a firm that will do an evaluation of the one-time Heath Dairy building for $1,500. It will look at the roof, windows, tuckpointing and more and provide an assessment of what is needed to repair the exterior of the building. He expects a report in a week to 10 days.

Another option is purchasing and renovating an existing property. Unit 2 is looking at two properties in town and the board may conduct a special meeting to discuss them.

Meanwhile, the district architect has revised plans for the new facility again, finally bringing his estimated cost down to Unit 2's $2.2-million price limit.

Quick said the latest plan eliminates the canopy over the bus parking lot and a lean-to for smaller vehicles. It also cuts back on fencing, surrounding only the building and the bus lot and not any additional parking. Most parking will be on gravel. Handicapped lots, approaches to the work bays and sidewalks will still be paved.

Board members also continued efforts to restore some of the positions and programs eliminated in past years because of financial troubles.

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