The Glenwood Board of Directors voted unanimously in approval on Monday to proceed with the purchase of a parcel of land with the intent of relocating the district’s bus barn and maintenance facilities.
The district will begin negotiations immediately on the purchase of the property located at 601 Railroad Avenue. The district’s plan is to move the current bus and maintenance facility, dubbed the “bus barn” and located adjacent to Northeast Elementary School along Linn Street, to the new site. The current bus barn is landlocked with limited accessibility that causes major traffic snarls before and after school and lacks needed garage space for repair work on the district’s bus fleet.
“In looking at the facilities that we have and the (traffic) congestion we have with our inadequate facilities to work on our vehicles, especially our buses, from my understanding, this has been an issue in the district for several years,” said Glenwood Superintendent Devin Embray.
The 4.45-acre Railroad Avenue property is owned by Evans Equipment Company. It’s current assessed value for tax purposes, according to the Mills County Assessors Office, is $241,172.
Embray said the asking price of the property is $300,000 and that if acquired, the district is planning as much as $100,000 in additional improvements to the site and buildings. Funds for the purchase will come from the district’s School Infrastructure Local Option (SILO) sales tax monies.
After Embray and the board looked at several options for improving the current bus barn site or building a new facility on current school property, it was determined the best option was purchasing a new property.
“The Evans property was the most cost effective option that we had in order to ensure that we had our needs met from a facility, maintenance perspective,” said Embray.
The Evans property building has 6,000 square feet of shop space with three large bays and one smaller bay. Also, the building contains 3,000 feet of office space.
The current bus barn has five full-time employees including administrative and maintenance staff.
Embray said the district is considering several options for continued use of the current bus barn facility but no plan has been finalized.