BRUNSWICK — A new bus and truck wash is expected to add years to the life of the 80 school buses in Brunswick Schools.
Board members this week approved a $104,364 vehicle wash system for the school’s transit department that includes an extensive undercarriage wash — a tool that will be especially important during the winter months, said Sam Grida, director of business affairs for the school district.
“Keeping the undercarriage clean is the biggest issue in Northeast Ohio,” he said. “Part of the reason our buses don’t last as long is the salt.”
Grida expects the district to get about three or four more additional years out of the buses. He said the district will want to protect its investment in new buses purchased in July. On July 15, school board members approved the purchase of four new Blue Bird buses at $93,295 each.
The money for both the buses and the wash system came from the district’s annual county sales tax revenues. The board voted Monday to buy the wash system.
Grida said he hopes the bus wash can help the district cut back on bus purchases in the future and make cleaning the buses more efficient and easier for employees.
In winters past, Grida said maintenance workers or bus drivers themselves would climb under the buses with a power washer to try to remove the salt and grime, often with large chunks of hard rock salt falling down from the undercarriage. The new wash will costs about $2 per bus, cheaper than what Grida estimates the district spent on water from its less-efficient power washer.
“The longer life expectancy is also a savings,” he said.
The new washer also can help get the buses ready for inspection during the summer months when the Ohio Highway Patrol comes to inspect the fleet.
“They want them as clean as possible for inspection, so we’ll spend less time preparing them this year,” he said.
Grida said other district vehicles can be cleaned with the new wash, helping to prolong the life of other vehicles. In addition to the bus wash, the board also approved spending $114,000 to replace the upper portion of the bus garage with concrete, instead of asphalt.
Grida said the surface had to be replaced, and with the cost of asphalt going up, it only cost $6,000 more to redo the segment with concrete. The lower portion of the garage already has been replaced with concrete and the middle section will be replaced in a third phase.
“In the summer, the asphalt heats up and the weight of the bus sitting on it just makes it break up and creates holes,” he said.
“It was much more economical to do it now that the price of asphalt has gone up.”
Contact reporter Loren Genson at (330) 721-4063 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Print this story
Report an innappropriate comment
In order to comment, you must agree to our user agreement and discussion guidelines.
Read our user agreement and discussion guidelines ..
Need help? Email Us.