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District’s bus garage set to receive facelift

Construction will provide new educational space for

diesel mechanics program

The bus garage compound for Jessamine County Schools is undergoing a construction and renovation project that started at the end of last school year and is expected to be completed July 30.

The purpose of the project is to renovate the transportation facilities, located at 501 East Maple Street, while also constructing a space for a diesel mechanics program for students,  said Patrice Jones, director of school community and public relations for Jessamine County Schools.

“In discussions with our community regarding how the district can better meet local needs, district leaders learned of a shortage of skilled diesel mechanics in the area,” Jones said. “This led to the creation of a Jessamine County Service Career and Technical Education pathway for diesel mechanics.”

The district’s bus garage, Jones said, was a natural choice for the location to house the program and thus the decision was made to renovate the 35-year-old facility, adding classroom space for diesel mechanic instruction.

Items being fixed or replaced in the renovation process include the building’s main systems such as HVAC and electrical. In addition, the office spaces are being renovated as well. Additional bus work bays are being built,  two bays will be designated to the diesel mechanics program bringing the total number of bays to six, plus an additional wash bay.

Also being added is classroom instruction space and lab and engine workshops. Parking for buses and personal vehicles is also being expanded. The diesel mechanics program consists of two-year-old curriculum which includes classroom instruction and hands on training.

“Additional training offered through the program is to be determined and will be in the specialty area of the instructor hired for the program,” Jones said. “For example, braking, electrical systems, etc. Students will receive industry certifications and stackable credentials that will enable them to work in the diesel mechanic field after graduation and/or segue into post-secondary level education in the field.”

Much like the renovation project for the new Providence School location, funds were allocated for this project through the sale of bonds, as well as funds left over from previous bond sales.

“The diesel mechanics program provides an additional opportunity for our students and helps to fill an identified community need by providing diesel mechanic professionals for our area,” Jones said.

As part of a master plan to expand the career and technical education offerings, Jones said the diesel mechanics program could serve to help students find their pathway and purpose in life. The construction of the space for the program also gave the district the ability to help with a much-needed renovation to the transportation facility she said.

“The addition of the diesel mechanics classroom space and related renovation of our transportation facility is a major project, requiring over a year of construction,” Superintendent Matt Moore said.

“I am pleased to say that, at this point, we are on schedule for the anticipated completion date in July 2018. We look forward to providing this additional opportunity for our students in the 2018-19 school year, while at the same time, meeting the needs of our community by addressing a shortage of skilled mechanics in our area. This expansion of our career and technical education program is yet another way that we are working to meet our students’ needs by helping them to find their passion and purpose in life.”