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Construction starts on bus garage

Apr. 09, 2013 @ 11:26 PM

LESAGE — Construction started last week in Lesage on the new bus garage for Cabell County Schools. It will be located at the former Cox Landing Junior High School, which has housed a branch library for several years since the school closed in the 1990s.

The major renovation project will allow the school system to move about 85 of its 120 buses to the new location, which provides better access to the eastern and central sections of the county via W.Va. 2 into Huntington and Big Ben Bowen Highway, which connects W.Va. 2 and U.S. 60 in Barboursville.

"We're very excited to have this opportunity to modernize our transportation operations," said Mike O'Dell, assistant superintendent over Operations. "The old bus garage in Barboursville has served us well, but we have outgrown that aging facility."

The Barboursville facility does not have the space to adequately handle the large fleet of buses and is outdated and too costly to bring up to code, O'Dell said.

The new facility will include space for modern service and maintenance equipment, bus fleet storage and wash bays that meet new EPA standards.

In the next phase of construction, storm and sanitary sewer lines will be installed under Cox Landing Lane and will cross under Cox Landing Road. The sewer lines will then pass under the railroad, which is owned by CSX. The installation of the sewer lines is scheduled to take place from April 15 to May 3, and will affect local traffic patterns.

"During this three-week period, traffic for local residents will be very limited," O'Dell said.

Jedd Flowers, the director of communications for Cabell County Schools, said it will not affect school traffic for Cox Landing Elementary, just the 22 households who live on Cox Landing Lane, on the backside of the bus garage property.

The project will cost about $6 million, which includes the $300,000 already spent for partial demolition at the old school. It will be paid for with money from the Permanent Improvement and Capitol funds. More than $3 million had been saved during the past two years for the project, O'Dell said. Treasurer Jody Lucas was able to find the remaining funds in other areas of the budget.

The project should be completed in early 2014.

As for the Cox Landing Library, which is now located inside the elementary school, the school board deeded a piece of the roughly 11-acre property to the Cabell County Public Library for the construction of a new facility.

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