BY KATE BUNSTER
NISKAYUNA — The Niskayuna School District’s bus maintenance garage will benefit from $600,000 in state-funded upgrades.
The funding was announced Dec. 10 as part of the Regional Economic Development Council distribution of state money.
The grant will provide the district with $600,000 for transportation service improvement, specifically architectural and engineering efforts. These efforts will assist in future changes to improve traffic flow and expand maintenance, storage and training areas, according to the district.
Specific plans include expanding the bus maintenance area and moving it to a centralized location, creating space for joint training and parts storage, and adding interior and exterior doors, according to the district.
In September 2014, the transportation facility at 1301 Hillside Ave. became a joint venture with the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake and Scotia-Glenville school districts, both of which supported the grant application, according to the Niskayuna School District. And this year, the Mohonasen Central School District has been included in the shared-facility partnership.
The increased number of districts and buses is creating the need for the upgrades.
Niskayuna is happy with the facility. So far, it has saved the district $272,000 and 50,000 miles of driving, according to a news release.
“We are thrilled that we have received this funding to enhance and improve this facility and this cooperative effort,” Superintendent Cosimo Tangorra said in the release. “This will strengthen our partnership with the area districts and further our efforts to operate as effectively and efficiently as possible.”
The district also is looking to increase efficiency through combining training, certifications, bus inspections, spare bus sharing, and “cooperative purchasing and storage of items.”
The grant application was developed by Director of Business and Finance Carrie Nyc-Chevrier, who worked with the Grants and Development Service of the Capital Region BOCES and “is a key component of realizing efficiencies in these areas.”
The grant came in the same round of funding that sent $150,000 to Friends of Niskayuna Rowing to make improvements to Aqueduct Park. These will include creating toilet facilities, building and stabilizing walkways, increasing dock capacity, and adding vessel storage equipment.
In total, the Regional Economic Development Council has distributed $750 million throughout the state.
Reach Gazette reporter Kate Bunster at 395-3191, firstname.lastname@example.org or @kmbunster on Twitter.