Purchase of van to transport small groups of students to cut Greater Latrobe rental fees
The Greater Latrobe School Board this week approved the purchase of a 10-passenger van to ferry students, with the hope of saving on rental fees in the long term.
Athletic Director Mark Mears said the district rents vans when small groups of students need to be taken to events such as golf tournaments or postseason wrestling competitions.
“For example, this weekend, we had to rent two separate passenger vans to send wrestlers to Hershey,” he said during Tuesday’s board meeting. “Tomorrow, we have to send two separate passenger vans to send the swimmers to Bucknell. That’s $1,600 just for those two trips.”
The district had originally planned to purchase a used van to transport mail between buildings but instead opted to shift one seven-passenger van to do that job and buy a new 10-passenger van, said Ken Millslagle, director of operations and facilities.
“It’s more useful for the district,” he said.
The board approved the purchase of the 2015 Ford 10-passenger Transit Wagon for $29,977.80 from Latrobe Auto Group.
Mears said state law prohibits using 11- to 15-passenger vans to transport students, so the district often has to rent two smaller vans for each student trip.
Purchasing the 10-passenger van will accommodate most of Greater Latrobe’s needs and save the district rental fees, about $450 each trip.
“If we’d have had this van, we’d have just sent them and the coach, with their car mileage. We’d have saved $1,600 just right there in two weeks,” he said. “It’ll pay for itself probably in two years.”
In other business, the board approved participation in a $600,000 heating and air conditioning capital project at Eastern Westmoreland Career and Technology Center.
Business administrator Dan Watson said during the meeting that the center’s preliminary 2015-16 budget shows a 4 percent increase from 2014-15, or about $115,000.
Because Greater Latrobe students account for about 50 percent of the center’s enrollment, the district may be responsible for about $66,000 next year, Watson said.
Most of the increase is from the center’s required contribution to the Public School Employees’ Retirement System, which accounts for $90,000 of the increase in the preliminary budget from last year, he said.
“You hear us talking about it here in our district; it’s affecting everybody,” Watson said.
Stacey Federoff is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6660 or [email protected].