RCPS approves purchase of 10 school buses

CONYERS - The Rockdale County Board of Education approved last Thursday the purchase of 10 buses worth more than $750,000.

Thomas Bus Sales was the low bid vendor at $758,538 for three 48-passenger buses, at $84,923 each, and seven 72-passenger buses, at $71,967 each. Sales tax funds will be used to pay for the buses.

All of the buses are complete units and will replace the 1987 buses in the fleet.

Like other buses in the school system, the new buses will not include air conditioning, but Phil Budensiek, chief operating officer for Rockdale County Public Schools, said the maintenance department plans to install some fans in roof hatches to keep them cool.

"It will cause the air to circulate in the bus," he said about the fans.

He said the main reasons school buses don't have air conditioning units is because of the time it takes a bus to cool down.

"It's at least 30 minutes before you get any effect, and most of our routes are between 30 and 45 minutes," he said. "Plus, we have a no-idle policy, so if the bus driver is sitting there for more than two minutes, they have to shut (the bus) off to support the Clean Air Act."

In other Rockdale BOE news, the board of education approved spending $90,850 from the special projects fund to provide $10,850 worth of scanners at $500 per unit for various schools; $10,000 for a special education paraprofessional; and $70,000 for increased residential services, which is for special education classes.

Michelle Floyd can be reached at michelle.floyd@newtoncitizen.com.