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A barn for the workhorses

CCA Board approves plans for new Transportation Facility in Tiffin

OXFORD– The board of directors for the Clear Creek Amana (CCA) Community School District has approved the design of a new transportation facility and sent the project out for bid. The board took the action Wednesday, Sept. 19, during the regular monthly meeting at Clear Creek Elementary in Oxford.
The district currently rents a two-bay structure on the western edge of Coralville for routine maintenance and light repair work. The board approved a three-year lease in June of 2016 in the amount of $36,000/year. A permanent, district-owned facility has appeared in numerous facility master plans and has been discussed by facility planning committees. However, funding, and a site for such a structure, had put the facility on the back burner, where the need has continued to simmer.
In 2016, Transportation Director Dave McKinney told the board the general recommendation for a district to have its own maintenance facility (rather than sending buses out for work) is when they reach 25 buses. “And we’re way past that,” he said. At the time, CCA had a fleet of 30 full-size buses as part of a 62-vehicle fleet. Iowa’s winters were also a factor, McKinney said, at the time as he justified the lease agreement. Having buses sitting outside in winter, “doesn’t give us the opportunity to do much. We need someplace where we can work on them inside,” he said.
In June of this year, the board pursued the option of bonding an estimated $2.8-$3 million in SAVE (Secure an Advanced Vision for Education) funds the district receives through sales tax to finance a building on the east side of Tiffin, adjacent to the new elementary school (currently under construction) and Tiffin Elementary.
Plans drawn up by Shive-Hattery, the District’s architecture and engineering firm, call for a four-bay facility with three bays for maintenance and repair work, and a fourth for washing vehicles. It also includes office and storage space for tools, equipment and spare parts. Site work for the new facility has begun with grading completed and utilities coming soon.
The project was to go out for bid on Thursday, Sept. 20, with a Thursday, Oct. 11, due date. The board is expected to approve the winning bid at its regular meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 17. The lease on the current facility expires on July 31, 2019, and the new facility is expected to be completed ahead of that date.
A public hearing on the project was held at the start of the Sept. 19 meeting, however, nobody from the public appeared before the board to offer comments.
The CCA board will meet again on Wednesday, Oct. 3, for a special meeting and work session. A public hearing will be held at 6:30 p.m. regarding the sale of land for the Highway 6 roundabout project in Tiffin. The board will meet at Clear Creek Elementary. A public hearing will also be held on Oct. 17 regarding the HVAC and security upgrade project for Amana Elementary. The project initially was bid beyond the budgeted amount, necessitating reconfiguration of the projects and re-bidding.