Board moving ahead with new bus barn

Tuesday action also gives formal okay to Wellington site auction

    While much of the school board had concerns with another building project on top of one just being completed, they will move ahead with construction of a new bus barn.
    On a 7-2 vote at a special meeting Tuesday, the board accepted the low $565,850 bid from C & S Construction of Madrid for a 70 x 113-foot bus barn, the larger of two building options.
    In another vote right after, the board unanimously approved proceeding with an auction of the entire Wellington school property.
    In the bus barn motion, Chase County Schools (CCS) will keep possession of the current bus barn on that property for 12 months as the new building is constructed, northwest of the K-12 building on East 9th.
    More than an hour of presentations and discussion preceded the vote on the new bus barn.
    Board members struggled with adding more tax burden to the district, yet expressed concern over the growing cost and possibly higher interest rates every year they wait to build something that’s inevitable, based on the current bus barn’s condition.
    Supt. Joey Lefdal, at the start of the meeting, reviewed a long list of issues that need repair at the Wellington bus barn.
    At minimum, he said, there will be close to $150,000 in repairs needed in the coming year. Lefdal said $65,000 worth of concrete alone needs to be replaced at the current bus barn this year.
    Long-term costs, if the Wellington bus barn would remain in use, could be as high as $300,000 to come into compliance, Lefdal believes.
    Karl Meeske, a member of the board’s building and grounds committee, said the new building is the better way to go.
    “We’ve neglected to do maintenance over there (Wellington) because we knew at one point we were going to be moving forward” with a new building, Meeske said.

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