Jackson Mulls Options Of New Transportation Facility

(Photo by Jennifer Peacock)

JACKSON – School Board members recently listened to a report by their architects outlining two options for creating a satellite facility to supplement the growing needs of the district’s transportation department.

The Board authorized a feasibility study stressing some urgency concerning such an addition during a Nov. 21, 2017 meeting about the need of an additional transportation facility.

Board member Michael Walsh recommended the satellite complex project during that session noting that the current facility, which has been in use for 40 years, has workers operating “in organized chaos.”

The Jackson School District Transportation Department is located on Don Connor Boulevard, right next to the district Administration Building.

“This would be a second smaller facility with a transportation yard,” Walsh said.

District Business Administrator Michelle Richardson initiated the process of working with the district’s architect of record Steven Siegel from The Spiezle Architectural Group to examine the transportation department’s issues in terms of size and scope, and the estimated cost.

Allison Erwin, the coordinator of communications and technology said last week that the board reviewed two versions presented by The Spiezle Architectural Group during its most recent meeting.

Erwin said that one of the board’s decisions going forward would be whether to put asphalt down on the entire area, or use a crushed rock base for designated areas.

(Photo by Quinn Peacock)

A report summary featuring various program elements state that approximately 7,800 square feet of garage and office space are proposed that would include parking for 75 school buses and at least 75 cars.

The two options featured in the presentation include option 1 which includes stone and asphalt and another which includes asphalt only. Both provide for more than 80 employee parking spaces and would include a fueling station and a fence.

The Board is looking at a $4,888,075 cost estimate for option 1 and $5,913,975 for the second option. Board members could decide on which option to choose as early as this month’s meeting.

The proposed location for the facility is on district owned land near Jackson Liberty High School, off North Hope Chapel Road close to East Veterans Highway.

Erwin said previously that the current facility houses 119 passenger vehicles, 48 vans and two cars. She said that the district’s buses “do about 10,500 miles per day and over the course of the year travel more than 1.9 million miles.”

A dozen employees staff the current facility. These include mechanics, mechanics helpers and supervisors who work various shifts.

The project timeline includes a survey and preliminary engineering work and schematic design to be performed this month into May, design development in June, permitting and construction documents through July to September and bidding in October.

Construction would start around November or December with completion sometime in early to mid-2019.