Holley’s new bus garage gets rave reviews

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 20 March 2013 at 12:00 am
Holley Bus Garage

Photos by Tom Rivers – Fran Gaylord, Holley’s transportation director at left, gives a tour of the new transportation facility on March 18. The new building features a lift, a bus wash, a vacuum exhaust system, and other improvements.

HOLLEY – Paul Niggli inspects school bus garages for the state Department of Transportation. Holley, for years, had one of the worst setups, Niggli said.Holley’s transportation department worked for decades in a cramped building. The buses were all out in the open. Making repairs was difficult in the small bus garage.

But Holley has entered the 21st Century with its new transportation facility, part of a $27 million capitol project that is transforming most of the junior-senior high school and making numerous other upgrades on the district campus.

“They did a beautiful job,” Niggli said after touring the new transportation facility with school and community members on March 18.

Fran Gaylord, the transportation director, waited for years for the improvements. He works with 30 bus employees – a group of drivers, mechanics, aids and clerical staff.

“This is so much better,” Gaylord said on the tour. “We have the room, the space, the brightness and the bus wash.”

Holley Bus Garage

The new transportation facility features a bus wash that will keep the windows clean and help with preventive maintenance on the undercarriage.

Gaylord pressed a button and a wash, with giant brushes and a soapy spray, went to work mechanically. Workers used to physically use long brushes and squiggees to clean the buses. It was difficult to get under the buses.

“With the rollover bus wash, the windows will be cleaner for the drivers,” Gaylord said on the tour. “The undercarriage will be cleaner. There will be better maintenance.”

Gaylord and his staff moved into the new complex on Feb. 28. The facility also includes a fenced-in parking area for the fleet of buses. A new fuel farm has a 10,000-gallon storage tank for diesel fuel and a 5,000-gallon tank for unleaded. The previous setup had 5,000- and 500-gallon tanks, respectively.

Contractors will soon tear down the metal portion of the old bus garage, which covers about two-thirds of that complex. They will keep a cinder block building. Buildings and grounds will use that for storage.

The new transportation facility sits on a portion of the 43 acres the district acquired for $163,000 about three years ago. That land includes room for five new ball fields that could be developed in the future.

Holley Bus Garage

Fred Seeman, a Holley school bus driver, fills up a vehicle at the new fuel farm next to the transportation facility.