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Cypress-Fairbanks ISD, the third-largest school district in Texas, owes its newest transportation facility that opened in 2017 to a 2014 bond measure that was approved by voters. The district is now constructing its sixth transportation center by using additional bond money that was approved last year.


students out of a total student population of 117,000. The addition of a fifth transportation center, West-


green, with 16 bays, a body shop, paint booth, and upholstery shop, has greatly increased efficiency. Plans for a sixth transportation center began in 2019. It will accommodate the future needs of this ever-expanding district. A 2014 bond fund was used to build the West- green facility, and the sixth transportation center will be constructed using funds from a 2019 bond. According to Director of Transportation Kayne Smith,


the Westgreen project came in about $3 million un- der the total budget of $22 million. Smith attributed the construction cost-savings to the district’s facilities department. “We have an extremely experienced and efficient facilities department that handles construction across the district,” he said, as he looked out of his office at a new middle school that was under construction. “The district grew so fast, that we were on top of one an- other in the old facility. We didn’t have enough parking for our buses or our employees.” Then the two-story Westgreen shop opened in 2017. “We service about 275 buses plus other district vehi-


cles,” he continued. “The lower floor has our day-to-day operations, and our technicians are happy because they


40 School Transportation News • FEBRUARY 2020


have a lot more room to work in. The upper floor has offices for our department-wide positions, assistant directors and my office.” To fully staff Westgreen, buses, routes and employees


were reallocated from around the district, with technician positions staying the same because no new buses were added to the fleet. The new full-time openings to com- plete the staffing were for the shop foreman, assistant foreman, paint booth, body shop and upholstery shop. Smith said he is happy with how the facility turned


out, though he said there are some very minor details that he might have changed. He credited the number of experienced people who were involved in planning the new building for the project’s success. “The meetings took a long time, because there was in-


put from 10 transportation employees, the construction crew, and all of the engineers and contractors,” Smith conceded. But the various viewpoints that were received from the technicians and the foreman about what worked in their current garage, and items that were on their wish list, were important, Smith noted. Additionally, each area director shared what works at their individual facility, when it comes to dispatch and the driver’s lounge.


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