Superintendent and Transportation Director will meet with ICON architects about new bus garage specs, too

    The next steps for both the new bus garage, scheduled to be constructed near Highland Elementary School in 2020, and plans for the old bus garage were discussed at this week’s Crookston School Board meeting. Superintendent Jeremy Olson explained he’s looking into options for the current bus garage’s three buildings, but felt the “stick-built” building was the most dilapidated and recommended they explore demolishing it. Olson said the brick building is still usable and hopes to work with the City of Crookston to find a new “responsible” owner. He added that the metal building, that features the district’s current fuel station (gas pumps), presents an opportunity for the district for storage.

    Board Chair Frank Fee asked Olson if the city and school can’t find a responsible owner if it would be the district’s responsibility to take that building down as well, but new School Board Member Mike Theis pumped the brakes with his comments about wanting cost estimates first, not wanting to “blindside the taxpayers.” Olson assured Theis they weren’t moving forward with anything at this point and that he would keep them all up to date on the next steps.

    “I don’t want to move forward if the board isn’t comfortable,” Olson stated, talking about his next steps in seeking estimates and more information about the current bus garage buildings. “I’m not asking for a blank check. I want the next step approved so we can get estimates.”

    “As we go through each one of the steps, I’ll ask if the board is okay with that,” he added.

    School Board Member Tim Dufault wondered if the district sold the brick building if its new owner might want to purchase the other parcels of land for the new owner to “build on” and added that, perhaps, the purchase price could assist with the demolition of the other building(s.) Olson said he would look into anything the board wants answers for and wanted “marching orders” to proceed, which he got.


    Superintendent Olson and Transportation Director Rick Niemela plan to meet with ICON architects this week to look over their bid specs and “work through technical issues” in the design to make sure everything is in order before they start the bidding process.

    “Once the specs are designed then we’ll open the bid window and select a vendor,” Olson explained. “We want to make sure the bid specs are what we want to get the product we want.”