Newton BOE approves school bus purchase

By Cody Willoughby -

PLEASANT HILL — The Newton Local School board of education approved the purchase of a new 72-passenger Blue Bird school bus during their monthly meeting on Wednesday.

The bus will be purchased from Cardinal Bus Sales in Lima, and will cost $92,327, which represents the lowest responsible bid to the district by a local dealer. The district currently has six buses that chart regular routes, and two spare buses. The new bus will keep the oldest regularly-routed bus in the fleet under 10 years of age. With the purchase, the oldest regularly routed bus will be transitioned to a spare, and an existing spare will be sold to the dealership.

The board also approved contract renewals for more than twenty district staff members for the 2019-20 school year, and approved a list of 40-45 potential graduating seniors for the Newton Class of 2019.

Level MB Director of Construction Matt Gray also appeared to offer updates on the district’s athletic/community center project, stating that final development plans are currently “70 to 75 percent complete,” and will be finalized with superintendent Pat McBride next week.

The proposed 17,000-square-foot multi-purpose building will serve the district for community/social events, fitness and exercise facilities open to the community, weight rooms and practice facilities for athletic teams, a year-round batting cage and pitching lane for baseball and softball, and a full-size, college-length basketball court and running track, which may double as a venue for public events.

Mobilized sub-contractors will begin prepping the site in early May.

A tentative date for a commemorative ceremony is currently being decided.

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By Cody Willoughby