School Board hears info on new hybrid bus
by Franklin Clark, Reporter -- fclark@cadizrecord.com
Apr 14, 2010 | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
At last Thursday’s regular meeting, members of the Trigg County Board of Education learned more about a diesel/electric hybrid school bus that they approved the purchase of in February.

Melissa Howell, executive director of the Kentucky Clean Fuels Coalition, talked about the basics of the how the hybrid bus works before the regular meeting started, emphasizing that the bus does not need an extension cord.

The bus will be extremely similar to any other bus in the school district’s fleet, save for at least one hybrid icon on the outside of the bus, Howell said. She added that the district should receive the bus by August of this year, and will be probably be eligible for a grant for a second hybrid bus when the time comes.

“The goal of the hybrid school bus project in Kentucky is to provide real world data for a transportation sector across the nation that has seen little improvement in engine efficiency since the adoption of the diesel engine in the late 70s,” Howell said. She also said that Coca-Cola delivery trucks have been using such hybrid systems for years now.

The hybrid system improves the bus’s gas mileage from 7.5 miles per gallon to about 12.5 miles per gallon, said Howell, who also said that while the driver is able to switch off the hybrid system, the KCFC will know if that happens when they check back.

Additionally, the hybrid bus will need less brake replacements due to reduced wear and tear, as it automatically slows down when the foot comes off of the accelerator, Howell said. She also pointed out that the point at which the bus switches from electric to diesel depends on the terrain and the horsepower being used.

In other business, board members unanimously approved a bid proposal and recommendation for $19,811 for the purchase of 70 “Fusion X-Dri Fabric” band uniforms from Stanbury Uniforms, which is based in Brookfield, Mo., to replace the district’s 10-year-old uniforms.

McGinnis said the uniforms are of a high quality synthetic fiber, and added that the uniforms will last longer, will be more durable and will dry more quickly than the current uniforms. He also said that more could be ordered if more people join the marching band.

Stanbury Uniforms also sent a bid in for $18,551 for uniforms of regular fiber, and DeMoulin Bros. and Co. sent in a lower bid of $18,446. Trigg County School Attorney Hal Hopson said choosing a higher bidder in this case wouldn’t be a problem.

The board also unanimously authorized McGinnis to move forward with a contract with JKS Architects and Engineers to oversee the design and oversight of the Trigg School Central Office re-roofing project.

At a board meeting in February, McGinnis recommended that JKS Architects and Engineers be put in charge of the project, which has been estimated to cost $158,787, with the funding to come from Impact Aid money. The new roofing material will cover the approximately 7,725 square feet of the central office roof, school records indicate.

“I’m not asking you to approve the contract, just to authorize me to move forward,” McGinnis said.

The board also unanimously approved a contract with the West Kentucky Educational Cooperative (WKEC) for more than $5,500 for collective purchasing with other districts for food and educational services.

A contract wit Kem, Duguid and Associates, P.S.C., to provide auditing services for the school for FY 2010-2011 for $13,500, was also unanimously approved, as was a proposal to work with Heritage Bank for the schools banking needs for the next two years.

In his report at the end of the meeting, McGinnis announced that Trigg County High School has been selected as a semifinalist for Project Lead The Way.

Project Lead The Way “provides students with the opportunity to satiate their curiosity about the way things work in the real world, giving students an edge over their peers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM),” said John Lock, chief executive officer for PTLW.

Afterward, a retirement party for McGinnis, whose retirement will be effective in late June, was scheduled for 2-6 p.m. Tuesday, May 25.
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