Minooka schools to buy former lumber yard for bus barn
By Kris Stadalsky For The Herald-News July 26, 2012 11:16AM
Updated: August 31, 2012 6:05AM
MINOOKA — One man’s loss is another man’s gain. When the Minooka Village Board denied a zoning change request for Village Christian Church last month that would have allowed it to purchase the former 84 Lumber facility, it opened the door for the two Minooka school districts to purchase the property for a bus barn and maintenance building.
The church’s zoning change request was denied because village officials felt it would not be compatible to the industrial area and they also had safety concerns.
With some remodeling, the 12.79-acre site will be perfect to house nearly 150 buses as well as drivers’ education vehicles for Minooka grade and high school districts.
The two districts jointly own a much smaller bus barn facility adjacent to the Minooka Primary Center.
Because there is not enough room, buses are parked all over the lot, on gravel access roads, at the ball diamond and at most grade school buildings as well, Superintendent Al Gegenheimer said.
The new facility will have two buildings at 12,000 and 30,000 square feet and two storage sheds at 10,800 and 6,000 square feet, in addition to the parking lot.
Besides having proper room for the districts’ fleets, there will be adequate space for district mechanics to do repairs and maintenance on the buses and cars. Bringing other services in house will save the district money in the long run as well.
“The board thinks it would be nice to be able to do some things in house, like cutting rotors for brakes,” Gegenheimer said. “We have got the capital to do something like that.”
One big plus for the districts is they are able to get the facility for $2 million, much less than the current EAV on the property of $3 million.
“We will get the property for less than the EAV,” Gegenheimer said. “It will really make a nice facility.”