Scotia-Glenville and BH-BL school districts enter into a five-year bus repair and maintenance shared services agreement

Scotia-Glenville (S-G) and Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Central Schools (BH-BL) have agreed to a five-year shared services plan in which S-G buses will be repaired, serviced and inspected by the state Department of Transportation at BH-BL’s new transportation facility at 23 Lakehill Road, Burnt Hills. (View video of new BH-BL transportation facility.)

The agreement has been approved by both school districts’ boards of education and signed by S-G Superintendent Susan Swartz and BH-BL Superintendent Dr. Patrick McGrath.

“This is an opportunity for us to keep our 45-vehicle bus fleet in top order so that we can safely transport our nearly 2,700 students every day,” said Superintendent Susan Swartz. “BH-BL keeps its fleet in great condition and we look forward to that kind of attention to our own bus fleet.”

This school year, BH-BL opened its new transportation facility as part of the voter-approved 2018 Building Our 2nd Century capital project. The new facility (that replaces the outdated one built in 1957) is modernized and updated to adequately allow for proper and efficient maintenance of the district’s 70-fleet bus. And, with additional bus bays in the new facility, along with an expansion in its hours of operation, there’s enough space to also maintain and repair S-G’s 45-vehicle fleet.

“We are pleased to be collaborating with a neighboring district and that our new, state-of-the-art facility allows for an agreement of this nature,” adds McGrath. “This shared service plan is good for our community, too, because it will generate revenue for BH-BL through rental space and service costs, and allows us to hire additional mechanics.”

S-G had been involved for the past several years in an agreement with the Niskayuna School District and Capital Region BOCES to service the vehicles at the Niskayuna bus garage. S-G’s own bus garage on Sacandaga Road, where it’s bus fleet will continue to be stored, is not able to service the buses because of a faulty lift that would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to replace. That garage is also undersized for the larger 72-passenger buses being purchased by the school district. School Business Manager Andrew Giaquinto noted that Scotia-Glenville will realize a $70,000 budgetary savings by working with BH-BL.

As part of the agreement, S-G would bring buses that require maintenance, service, or inspections to the BH-BL Transportation Facility. BH-BL mechanics will work on the buses, billing S-G back for any parts needed for the repairs. The monthly cost to S-G for such services as well as facility use and occupancy costs, approximately $33,850, is less than what S-G had been paying in the past.

S-G also agreed to purchase the same type of buses at BH-BL “to ensure efficiency of operations” with regards to consistent parts and repairs.

This agreement may be terminated by either school district at the conclusion of the fifth year of operation (June 30, 2026) or at any time by written mutual agreement.