School system opens bus service facility
By SARAH LUNDGREN The Brunswick News
With a big grin on her face and an even bigger pair of scissors in her hands, Wanda Thomas sliced through the white ribbon in front of the new Glynn County Schools Transportation Complex in north Glynn Friday.
As a bus driver for the school system for almost 50 years, Thomas relished the opportunity.
"I love this building. It is marvelous. I think it's going to be so helpful, too," Thomas said.
"We now have adequate facilities to do all the training required, we have space for the mechanics to perform need maintenance, we've got state-of-the-art everything now where we used to have to improvise."
Thomas was designated to help the school system begin its official grand opening Friday afternoon for the 17,000-square-foot facility on a 22-acre site at 137 Jack Hartman Blvd., just across the street from the Georgia Department of Driver Services in Brunswick.
Representatives from the school system, Brunswick and Glynn County Development Authority and the Brunswick-Golden Isles Chamber of Commerce were in attendance.
Glynn County School Superintendent Howard Mann was the first to speak to the crowd, addressing the drastic change from the school system's transportation department in its early days.
"This is a far different site than what we used to have at Stonewall Street. I'm pretty sure I remember pulling some busses out of mud holes in the parking lot using other buses back then," he joked.
The bus depot and property on Stonewall Street goes to the city as part of a land swap deal for the site that is now Glynn Middle School on Lanier Boulevard.
School board member Dr. Hank Yeargan added to Mann's speech, saying the project was completed on time and under budget. The project was funded with $4.6 million from the Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax.
Facilities director Al Boudreau said the 1,600-square-foot room at the depot was designed with the gathering of instructors and bus drivers in mind. "We designed this so that we could have all of our bus drivers attend one meeting," he said. "We used to have to borrow space and have four or five meetings to do that, but this is so much more efficient," he said.
The school system employs 122 certified drivers with 145 busses.
* Reporter Sarah Lundgren writes about education and other local topics. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Facebook or at 265-8320, ext. 322.