In April, the county voted on and passed a much-needed bond to help the Clarke Community School District make updates throughout the district. By the end of September, the first phase of the renovations and additions will be completed with the new Clarke Community Schools Bus Barn.
The new facility, located at 211 Leisure Drive on the north side of the city, is a long-awaited upgrade that benefits the district in a number of ways. Initially, the new facility will save the district money in rent payments. The new bus barn will also provide greater security for district vehicles and equipment and improve employee conditions within the building.
The new Clarke Community Schools Bus Barn boasts several new features, improving productivity and safety:
- A completely paved parking area for bus storage
- Improved equipment storage and integrated security
- Additional maintenance bays
- An Onsite wash bay
- Restroom facilities
- Modern office space and conference area
Other projects included in the bond are moving along as expected with two of the remaining improvements set to be completed by the start of the 2020-21 school year. After some construction and weather delays, the new road connecting Highway 69 to the middle and high school campus is nearing completion with concrete and curbing planned for the next week.
Classroom additions and remodeling at the secondary campus will be the next project undertaken with the goal of moving the sixth grade students out of the elementary to make room for remodel work there.
Finally, around the secondary campus, there will be handicap accessible parking added along with more space for student and staff parking, but that will be a project executed at the end of the renovations.
“When all the heavy equipment work is done at the secondary campus,” said Steve Seid, Superintendent for Clarke Schools. “The district can focus on repaving the pothole-riddled driveways.”
Construction managers and the school district meet before every board meeting to update the status of the projects and address any issues to ensure steady progress.
“All of the construction is moving along as scheduled and we’re thrilled about the impact these changes will have on the students and the community as a whole,” said Seid. “A new bus turnaround, additional campus parking, more classrooms, and updated plumbing will go a long way toward improving the safety of our students.”