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Morris High School gets new transportation van

Published: Monday, July 14, 2014 8:46 p.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, July 15, 2014 8:36 p.m. CDT
(Heidi Litchfield – hlitchfield@shawmedia.com)
The MCHS Spirit, is a 15-passenger bus that was purchased by the Morris Community High School to transport students to activities.

MORRIS – Morris Community High School has bought a 2014 multiple passenger activity bus as part of its planned transportation purchases, at a cost of $44,168.

“We traded in the 2003 Chevy passenger van we had because it was at 105,000 miles, and it had increased maintenance costs,” Facility Manager Steve Lutz said.

The Morris Community High School Spirit Bus was received Thursday by the high school and was used this past weekend to transport students to events, including soccer.

Superintendent Pat Halloran said the van will continue to add savings to the district transportation fund by allowing coaches or sponsors to transport groups who don’t need a large bus to events, because the activity bus does not require a special driver’s license.

The district already has seen savings in transportation costs due to sharing services with other Morris school districts. This past school year, Saratoga School District 60C took on the responsibilities of busing students to and from their school, as well as Morris high school and Morris Elementary School District 54 schools, through a shared services agreement.

“We’ve saved over $100,000 [this past school year] in the transportation,” Halloran said. “We were able to save that due to using Saratoga, which is a not-for-profit company, which has lower overhead cost.”

The district has a vehicle replacement plan and in the past five to six years, it has replaced four vehicles. Although it had budgeted for another one, two years ago officials decided not to buy the vehicle then, so the budgeted money was available for this purchase.

Halloran said because of the continued transportation savings, the district will transfer money from the Transportation Fund into the Education Fund.

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