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Morris District 54 to purchase new vehicles

MORRIS – Morris Elementary School District 54 will purchase a 2014 10-passenger van and a 2014 small school bus to be utilized for transporting special education students to and from school.

The District 54 school board voted unanimously last week to approve the purchases.

This school year, Saratoga School District 60C took on the responsibilities of busing students to and from their school, as well as District 54 schools and Morris Community High School, through a shared services agreement.

But District 54 maintains the responsibility for busing special education students to and from their schools, as well as Saratoga and Morris High School, based on a previous agreement, Superintendent Teri Shaw said.

Sharing the busing annually saves the community $400,000, she said.

The district will be returning two leased buses and purchasing the new vehicles, via the Illinois State Joint purchasing program, which it historically has used to purchase buses.

“We will experience a 50 percent savings over the period of time we will operate the buses,” Shaw said. “We take real good care of our vehicles and expect to get six to eight years of service from them.”

She said the cost per mile will drop from 46 cents to 23 cents.

They opted to purchase a 10-passenger van to replace one of the buses because it meets the seating requirement they need and will be more fuel efficient than a second bus.

“Using a van to transport students is significantly less money than using a bus,” Shaw said.

She also said buses are a huge concern in the winter, especially the special education buses. Using a van will alleviate the worry of diesel fuel gelling due to historically low temperatures like we have experienced this year.

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