Redrawn school bus routes for West Shore

New bus yard not operational until winter, old yard still to be decommissioned

Crews are busy recycling what they can and preparing the old Belmont school for demolition, just as the doors of the new schools are set to open. Along with the old Belmont school, School District 62’s old bus yard will have to be decommissioned and moved to its new location at 2960 Amy Rd.

Pete Godau, director of facilities for SD62 said work is underway at the new location but doesn’t expect it to done until December. “It’s not a critical move or item,” he said.

“It shouldn’t effect the two new schools,” said Godau. “It’ll just be a different starting location.”

He said while it won’t make a difference for students, once the new yard is operational it would mean that some drivers would have to start earlier and finish later.

But this slight change to the bus routes is nothing compared to the reconfiguration that the District has done to accommodate new routes added for the new Royal Bay secondary school.

In fact he said that the District has incorporated a number of new routes for all of its schools.

Godau said the bus routes are re-evaluated every year with some adjustments made due to changing demographics of neighbourhoods. But this year’s change is a big one.

“Because we’ve done that grade reconfiguration the bus routes will change for all the schools,” he said. In an attempt to harmonize the District all schools will now have the same grade configurations with elementary schools housing students from Kindergarten through Grade 5, middle schools will have Grades 6 to 8 and high schools will have Grades 9 though 12.

“It’ll make a huge difference for us once West Shore Parkway opens up.” Once the West Shore Parkway expansion is completed it will allow the bus yard to have two different accesses to the West Shore.

The bus yard’s move was sparked by a $23.25 million land deal that saw SD62 sell its Jacklin Road property to Sobey’s Inc. The District has been leasing the land back until it can decommission all of its operations on the property, with the lease set to expire at the end of March 2016. The school board office was not part of the sale and will remain where it is.

To check on the bus schedules and routes, click on this link.

katie@goldstreamgazette.com