Get answers to some of the most important questions about the $11.2 million Transportation Center project.
If you have a question of your own, please email us. While we are unable to post a response to every question, we will review each submission in order to address issues that frequently arise.
Why was it critical to replace the existing transportation center?
Today’s transportation industry has higher standards, more safety requirements, and larger fleets of buses. They’re also used more often – estimates are that buses travel 1,500 miles more per day than in the 1970s. Our existing transportation building, built in 1968, is no longer able to keep up with these new requirements, as determined by the New York State Education Department. Building deficiencies were identified during Building Condition Surveys in 2005, 2010, and 2015. If not corrected, these deficiencies heighten the risk of building damage and deterioration.
What are some of those deficiencies and how are they being addressed in the new facility?
The Building Condition Surveys noted challenges in the size and configuration of maintenance bays; materials/storage space; site fencing and security; parking and traffic flow; storm drainage; and toilet facilities. The Transportation Center project addresses each of those in turn with a modernized facility, equipment and site plan.
When was the project approved?
Voters approved the project in a referendum in May 2016 that was part of the District’s annual budget vote.
What steps were taken to notify and meet with residents?
The vote for a new Transportation Center ran on the ballot with the School Budget as a separate proposition on May 17, 2016. To explain the project, we held public meetings throughout spring 2016, including a public information session on May 3, 2016 at Fairport High School. We also offered community tours of the existing facility on April 25, May 9 and May 11, 2016. We shared information on the District’s website and provided direct contact information for our Superintendent. We also held meetings with neighborhood associations from communities near the project site as requested.
What will the new Transportation Center accomplish?
We set out with three goals in mind: (1) to ensure safe and reliable transportation for students, staff, and visitors; (2) to meet the operational needs of transportation staff; and (3) to avoid additional local tax impact. We’re accomplishing all three. The new Transportation Center will satisfy current building codes and achieve energy efficiencies while addressing issues related to security and site fencing, parking and traffic flow, storm drainage, maintenance bay and storage space, toilet facilities and interior space.
What does the project include?
The main component is a new, two-story, 21,000 square-foot transportation/maintenance building, which includes offices, maintenance bays, a wash bay, in-ground lifts, and related equipment to address the needs of the District’s vehicles.
Why did it have to be two stories?
More than 120 people work in the transportation center daily. Because the original building was over 50 years old, it could not accommodate modern maintenance operations for the District’s bus fleet. The project was necessary to provide a safe and comfortable work environment that would allow our people to do what they do best. The initial plan called for a larger single-story building on a larger footprint. The District revised the plan and instead built a two-story building requiring a smaller footprint, so as to reconfigure internal site traffic and mitigate impacts to neighboring properties.
How many buses use the site?
The District operates about 100 buses.
You’ve said you’ve tried to address the impact of the project. How?
We’ve reduced the number of parking spaces for cars from 154 to 132 and reduced bus parking from 118 spaces to 114. We’ve also narrowed the width of bus parking spaces by one foot. Additionally, in response to concerns, the District removed one operable bay door to accommodate car parking, moved the fuel island seven feet closer to Ayrault Road and reduced green space within property limits. The District also installed noise-reducing ceiling panels in the bus garage to help control noise.
How much will it cost?
The project budget is $11.2 million.
How is the project being paid for?
The building is paid for through a combination of state building aid and Fairport capital reserves. Funding for the project will have no additional local tax impact.
What other changes are part of the project?
We installed new gas pumps and new underground fuel storage to replace existing underground tanks. We’ve covered the pumps with a safety canopy that will protect drivers and others from, among other things, inclement weather. The canopy includes a fire suppression system.
What about changes to the property itself?
The boundaries of the site are not changing. As part of the project, we’ve created a new parking area, and new lighting and plan for new landscaping and fencing. We put the highest priority on creating a new facility that was as safe and secure as possible.
Why was there a need to thin out the tree line?
The fence line onsite needed to be moved to provide sufficient area for snow staging and removal as well as to allow the town access to a sewer manhole for maintenance of the sanitary sewer system. Foliage and trees in the area had grown into and around the existing fence line at the north and west ends of the property. Therefore, moving the fence also required us to remove some of the trees and shrubbery.
What is the plan for landscaping the property? Why haven't new trees already been planted?
We know that the removal of trees and foliage has been a matter of concern for those living in the nearby neighborhood. Our plan includes installation of new landscaping features around the property. We’re continuing to evaluate the best options. As with any construction project, this will be one of the final components of the new Transportation Center. As well, we have also been advised that the best time for planting new trees, to give them the best chance of survival, is the fall. The District is committed to supplementing proposed measures to mitigate potential impacts from noise and light, where feasible, and in accordance with safety requirements.
How are you addressing exterior lighting?
As part of the project the District has installed new, more efficient LED lighting poles. This illumination is vital for safety and security of both visitors and the entire property. Some neighbors have expressed concerns that light from these poles would cause undue light splash onto their properties. We appreciate those concerns and believe that once the project is completed and the planned mitigation measures are installed, such concerns will be alleviated. Further, we continue to evaluate supplemental measures that may be added as appropriate and feasible. We’re already utilizing technology that reduces light levels during evening hours.
What will the new fencing look like?
It will be a galvanized metal chain-link fence and will enclose and secure the bus parking area for safety purposes, reducing the chances of vandalism or other misconduct.
Which measures are being taken to address the temporary impact of construction?
After consulting with noise control experts, we have incorporated noise-reducing ceiling panels into the garage area. We are also employing lighting fixtures that are designed to avoid undue light splash at night.
When is the project expected to be completed?
We anticipate completing work in the Fall of 2019.