August 1, 2019–7:20 a.m.
Rome City Schools board members, along with Superintendent Louis Byars and Assistant Superintendent Dr. Dawn Williams, met to discuss the purchase of a property that will be the site of the new transportation maintenance facility.
As part of the system’s Rollin’ with RCS transportation plan, Board members unanimously approved the purchase of a property on Three Rivers Drive at a cost of $1.15 million. Byars, Dr. Williams, and the Board met in a closed session to discuss options and settled on this property as the home of the new RCS bus maintenance facility.
“Purchasing this property is an immediate need for the system. We are expecting the new buses to arrive earlier than planned, so getting a place to secure the buses is our focus,” Byars said. “The property is also close to our middle and high school campuses which will help us with implementation going forward.”
Superintendent Byars also reported that they have hired several new drivers since the last School Board meeting and they are seeing the positions start to fill. “We have several more drivers who will be up for approval during our August board meeting scheduled for the second Tuesday next month,” Byars explained. “We are continuing to hire drivers them and bring them on board so that they can learn the routes, ride with the other drivers and get any additional training they may need.”
Byars said that the Rollin’ with RCS transportation program is still on schedule and will roll out on Jan. 1 of 2020. Not only will drivers be trained, but all students will have a chance to become familiar with emergency procedures and what to expect when riding a city school bus. “All students will be trained on emergency procedures because they will take these buses for field trips, sporting events and more. So, all of our students will be familiar with the new buses.”
A model of the new bus has been available to preview at major system events and the community was able to see a bus students will ride to and from school this fall.