Springville-Griffith Institute meets its new transportation supervisor
“We have made tremendous gains, even in the short time Rose has been here,” said Superintendent of Schools Paul Connelly, as he introduced the new transportation supervisor. He noted that Heckathorn had worked with Ben Higgins, technology integrator for the district, on implementing a new software program called Transfinder®. The software helps devise bus routes, track the fleet and ensure that students are transported in the most efficient and timely manner.
“It’s spectacular,” Connelly said, of what the program has done for S-GI’s transportation system. “We have eliminated four routes in the village which were previously less than 1 1/2 miles away, which were unaidable. Taken outlying runs and raked them back in to increase ridership and get more kiddos on the bus. We eliminated three contract runs to parochial schools, all without losing staff.”
Heckathorn said that she is “thankful to be back home in the district” and that she is looking forward to making “beneficial changes” on S-GI’s behalf.
“I will continue to clean up our routing system and do whatever it takes to take care of the students to the best of our ability ... this may shake things up for a little while. Like there always is with changes, we may hear some grumblings, but after those settle down, things will run smoother.”
She noted that, even with route changes, the bus ridership time will not change by more than a few minutes.
“We had outlying buses coming in with half loads. We’re going to add 5 – 10 minutes, fill those buses up and get state aid for them,” she said.
“This way, when we see a bus go by with a few kids on it, we can say that we’re legally responsible for putting 47 kids on that bus,” Connelly said, offering one example of a ridership requirement. “Now, if those kids don’t get on, that’s not our fault. It’s a great start.”
The board also saw a presentation by Maintenance Mechanic Crew Chief Larry Strauss, who reported that building improvements and capital project items are proceeding as scheduled. Those include painting classrooms and corridors, installing fall zone safety mats on the Springville Elementary School playground, improving the heating system in the high school and installing new hardware on some doors, among other scheduled building improvements.
Strauss also said that he would recommend considering switching from steam boilers to packaged heat boilers, which would save the district “a lot of money, in the long run.”
“I’m hoping I’m here long enough to see those go,” said Strauss, about the old system. He noted that, although installing new boilers would be costly, it would “seriously be a huge savings down the road,” and that he is looking into options for how to do that, as well as potential funding for the project from outside sources.
In other board news:
– The board approved a proposition, which had been voted in during the May 15 budget vote, to purchase two 66-passenger buses, one 16-passenger bus and one 24-passenger bus with a wheelchair lift.
– The donation of a stepper cardio machine from resident Karen Stanford was approved.
– Community Bank was approved as an official depository for school funds.
– The school was authorized to dispose of outdated textbooks, computers and audiovisual equipment.
– Transportation contracts were extended for Hamburg School Car Inc. and First Student Inc. and a new contract was awarded to Carrier Coach Inc.
– The school food service under management company contract bid was awarded to Sodexo Management Inc.
– An intermunicipal agreement between the village of Springville and S-GI was approved for the use of the village-owned tennis courts for fall 2012 for S-GI’s varsity tennis team, for practice only.
The next board meeting will be held Sept. 11 at 7 p.m.