Dolores school district seeks bids for new bus garage

Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018 7:24 PM
The Dolores School board is seeking a bid to build a bus garage at the transportation center west of town.

A plan for a bus garage for Dolores schools will be put out for rebid, board members decided at their meeting last week.

Previous bids came in higher than what was budgeted for the project, said district Superintendent Phil Kasper. The board voted to set the maximum price at $300,000 for a two-bay, ventilated garage large enough for school buses.

The new 3,600-square-foot metal building would also house an office and an employee break room. The plans include a mechanic’s trench and bus washing equipment. The building would be north of the bus parking area.

The transportation department manages 16 school vehicles, including the bus fleet. The current transportation facility is outdated, inefficient and unsafe for workers, said Larry Funk, transportation coordinator. The mechanic bay is not large enough for one bus, the heating and ventilation systems are poor, and the roof leaks.

Except for some minor changes, the architect’s plans and soil testing have been completed for the project. If the plan goes forward, the old transportation building will remain for storage purposes.

In other school news:

The board is accepting applications for a new board member to replace Dee Prock, who recently resigned. Applications will be accepted at the school main office, 100 N. Sixth St., Dolores, (P.O. Box 727) until Aug. 30. Interviews will be held in public on Sept. 4 at 4 p.m., and the new board member will be voted on and appointed at the Sept. 13 meeting.The board heard a request from Kasper to raise the district spending limit that triggers a competitive bid process.Currently, anything over $2,000 requires a bidding process, but Kasper said the policy adopted in 1993 was not practical. For example, some academic supplies bought in bulk are provided by a sole-source vendor, and often exceed the current limit.

Dolores’ nonbid spending cap is below most area schools, which have caps of $7,000 to $10,000, according to a school study. The board will consider the request and make a decision at its September meeting.

The school-based health clinic is progressing on time and on budget. The clinic is in the construction phase and is expected to be finished in November. It is designed to serve students, but is available to other community members. A plan announced by Southwest Health System in 2017 to build a health clinic on Central Avenue at the old Mountain Stone building has been scrapped, and the building will be put up for sale.

Kasper said teachers and principals will implement an “early warning system” to identify seniors who are at risk of not graduating.“We will be proactive and go the extra mile by putting in support plans for the student. We also will bring in the guidance counselor and parents early on so there are no surprises,” he said.

The board voted to hire John Marchino as the new athletic director.