Primary school bus depot will be ready for September

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But later Ocean City dismissal time could cost Upper

Staff Writer

PETERSBURG – School district officials said Monday, July 16 that the long sought after bus depot at the primary school is on track to be completed by the start of the school year, but it may create complications if the district has to push back dismissal times at local schools.

“The survey and design work are done,” said school board member Steve Martinelli.

The bus depot will hold 16 buses, he said.

“That’s exciting,” said school board president Michele Barbieri.

What is not exciting, however, are the potential affects a later dismissal time at Ocean City schools could have on Upper Township. Ocean City and Upper Township use the same bus company.

The Ocean City school district is pushing back its schools’ dismissal time at the end of the day by five minutes, which school business administrator Laurie Ryan said would impact Upper Township’s bus schedule.

“They have said it will not impact our dismissal time but the reality is that it will,” said Ryan, adding that she was working with the bus company, Sheppard, to “see if we can tweak it.”

The Upper Township school district may also have to push dismissal time at the Upper Township Middle School back, she said.
Ryan said the issue becomes more complicated with the new bus depot at the primary school.

In the past, buses could stagger arrival and departure times. Once the buses start using the bus depot, however, they will have to all leave at one time, creating the need for another run if dismissal times are changed.

That could cost the school district an additional $15,000, said Ryan.

“We’re trying our hardest not to do that but we may have to,” she said.

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