Growth in student population, replacement needs cited
By Makenzie Plusnick
The Community News
Aledo ISD will purchase seven new buses to facilitate projected student growth, new bus routes and replacement needs.
The Board of Trustees approved the $725,593 purchase from Rush Truck Centers/Rush Bus Centers at its July 19 meeting. Six will be 77-passenger buses, while the remaining bus will be a 48-passenger special needs bus, according to Chief Financial Officer Earl Husfeld.
The 2019 bond covered $500,000. The remaining funds are from the interest earnings from the 2015 bond program which were earmarked for new buses, Husfeld said.
It was important the district make this purchase now because of additional bus routes that may be needed due to the new Annetta Elementary School, as well as rising bus prices.
“We want to try to take advantage of the hold on price,” Husfeld said.
An additional $5,000 is needed per bus for a video system that is purchased from a separate company which the district has found is more cost-effective than going through the bus company.
The buses will also be used for students participating in new tutoring programs the district plans to offer. The projected delivery date for the buses is 120-180 days, just in time for an uptick in extracurricular activities, Husfeld said.
Additionally, the board unanimously approved a proposal to paint Bearcat Stadium’s metal fencing and Aledo High School Field House.
It makes sense to do the $36,120 project now because the company is already painting concession stands at the stadium that were damaged during the winter storm in February, according to Director of Construction and Facilities Tyler Boswell.
“With the work going on at the stadium, it seems like a really great time to do those smaller-ticket items that kind of really need to be done,” Boswell said.
The cost will be covered by the district’s current budget, Husfeld said.
The board also approved the extension of a project to replace bathroom partitions for several district facilities. The district started replacing the partitions in high-profile areas last year, before continuing the project in the 200-hall restroom of Aledo High School and the restrooms in the Aledo Middle School Stadium, according to Husfeld. These replacements are needed due to vandalism and wear and tear, he added.
The $48,735 expenditure is covered in the district’s budget. Bathroom dividers will continue to be replaced every summer until all district facilities have been updated, Husfeld said. The project is being completed by Tex-Oma Builders Supply Company.
It is a better financial move to continue projects while the company is already onsite, according to Husfeld.