LEXINGTON, S.C. — Lexington County School District One announced on Tuesday they have purchased new land to build a new transportation facility for school buses.
During a school board meeting on September 15th, the board of trustees accepted the recommendation from the administration to purchase two pieces of property off of the 1600 block of Two Notch Road in Lexington County.
The bus transportation facility will be used for the Lexington, White Knoll and River Bluff area. The facility the district currently has only serves Lexington and River Bluff. It's located on Barr Road.
That particular facility is owned by the South Carolina Department of Education and the district leases the property to use for transportation. It's also co-located with the Lexington bus maintenance facility that's ran by the state department.
There's also another where buses are housed at White Knoll High School.
"The current facility at White Knoll High School actually is operating out of a classroom addition that was done a number of years ago in a small office space," said Jeff Salters, the Chief Operations Officers for the school district. "They're basically using a parking lot that was designated as staff and student parking and we have to clear those spaces out use that to house buses on that campus."
Salters says they've been using classrooms that were repurposed that are 30-years-old.
"The idea is to provide with our transportation staff a newer facility where they can better serve our student needs and also we have a better place to store our buses when they're not being used and also give us space that's needed back at White Knoll High School," explained Salters.
The school district is working on an expansion of classroom at White Knoll High School and the performing arts center.
To buy both properties, the total cost came out to $1,500,160. The land includes 46.88 acres of land.
The school district said in a press release, "The land, located in an industrial area, has good sightlines and multiple road access points."
The facility will be able to hold 200 school buses, including 150 state buses and around 50 district owned buses.
Another reason the school district picked the 1600 block of Two Notch Road is because they consider it to be an industrial area. They believe this will help with noise with buses starting up early in the morning, rather than being located close to a neighborhood.
"I think the biggest thing is really providing a new facility for our bus drivers. They play a key component in our instructional process. They take students to school everyday and take them home safely everyday. Really without them, they day could never get started," said Salters. "It's a facility that will be state of the art, include mechanic bays and wash bays for the buses. It's something that's been long overdue and we're excited about finally being able to deliver it to them."
The school district is currently pulling permits and hope to finalize the purchase next month. They hope to complete this project by August 2021.
Lexington One also said in a press release, "Approved by the voters as part of the district’s Nov. 6, 2018, $365 million five-year building plan (2018–2023), the new Transportation Facility ensures that the district can provide a modern updated transportation facility to support bus transportation."
For more on the progress of the school's building plan, click here.