The Tooele County School District is getting ready to move its bus garage and transportation department from Coleman Street to the Peterson Industrial Depot.
The Tooele County School Board approved a letter of intent to purchase two 9,0000-square-foot buildings from Peterson Industrial Depot during the school board’s July 9 meeting at the school district office.
The letter of intent calls for the school district to buy the two buildings valued at around $10 million for $3.1 million. The depot may use the balance of the value of the buildings as a charitable contribution.
The school district identified the need for a new facility for the transportation department in 2014 when it completed its master facilities and capital management plan, according to Steve West, TCSD director of operations.
“Our facility on Coleman Street is too small,” he said. “We don’t have room to park all the buses and our drivers’ personal vehicles up there safely.”
Along with a need for more parking, with more buses the school district needs more bays to work on buses. West also said the current shop building was built when buses were shorter.
“They make buses longer now,” West said. “When you pull a bus in to work on it, there’s barely two feet of space on each end of the bus. They usually leave the garage doors open while they work on the buses.”
At the depot the school district will be able to park all the buses indoors, which will help with security and reduce vandalism, according to West.
“We will be able to construct the work space and office space we need,” West said. “And with the room for parking it will be a safer environment for everybody.”
In addition to moving the transportation department to the depot, the district will also move the contents of a warehouse the district owns to the new transportation facility, according to West.
The warehouse stores surplus equipment and centrally purchased janitorial and maintenance supplies.
West expects the district will declare the warehouse building and the four acres on Coleman Street as surplus property and sell them to offset the costs involved in acquiring the new property and buildings in the depot.
The warehouse has an estimated value of around $1 million. The value of the Coleman property is estimated to be between $600,000 and $800,000, according to West.
Once the purchase of the property and buildings in the depot is complete, it will take the district between 12 and 18 months to move the transportation facility, according to West.
“It’s more than just moving buses,” he said. “We will need to do some construction and move equipment, including bus lifts.”