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IWCS maintenance, transportation depts. to get new home

Isle of Wight County’s School Board has reallocated money within its current budget to fund renovations to the division’s bus yard.

The work will include the demolition of trailers that currently house the division’s maintenance and transportation staff with a 2,640-square-foot modular office that can accommodate both departments.

The division received a $289,688 bid from Vanguard Modular Building Systems for the project, which the School Board approved unanimously April 22.

According to Superintendent Dr. Jim Thornton, the project will also include replacement fencing and repaving the area where buses are refueled — the latter of which has been costly to patch with gravel over the years.

“If you’ve driven by there, there are some rough areas there,” Thornton said.

The savings come primarily from the division operating on a hybrid virtual/in-person schedule this year due to COVID-19, and as a result, running fewer school buses.

“We weren’t able to run as many buses and have as many drivers and expend as much fuel, so we’re spending it wisely on upgrades that we wouldn’t be able to do otherwise,” Thornton said.

The School Board also voted unanimously that evening to accept a bid of $370,400 from Roof Systems of Virginia for repairs to the division’s bus garage, Windsor High School, Smithfield Middle School and Westside Elementary School. These projects are being funded through the county’s Capital Improvements Plan, according to division spokeswoman Lynn Briggs.