Nacogdoches ISD transportation department moves into $3.3 million facility

Updated: Aug. 10, 2020 at 5:31 PM CDT
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NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - Visitors to the Nacogdoches ISD Transportation Center will first notice the Dragon gold awning. People who work there notice a smooth parking lot, a spacious garage and a clean working environment.

"It was like a blessing. A dream come true," said route supervisor Sharon Howard.

Transportation director Stacy Lampkin views it as a deserving improvement.

"Transportation is the heartbeat of the school district," who oversees a fleet of 80 busses.

The beat will continue from a $3-million facility, the first major project funded by the $77-million bond voters approved in 2018.

"My mechanics had to work outside in the rain and the cold if they had to work on a bus," recalled Lampkin.

Today the transportation center is all about safety and comfort.

“They can put six school buses in these bays they have in the shop, in order to work on them.”

Mechanic Stephen Grimes points out the difference.

"The shop used to end right were the structure is here which was the original structure for the building."

Much of the original building was retained, but it was reconfigured and renovated to create added space, including a staff meeting and training room.

“We can’t fit as many people in here right now as we originally planned,” pointed out Les Linebarger, the district’s communication director. “Because as you can see the chairs are spaced apart to provide enough room for social distancing.”

Passenger safety is also considered.

“The only requirements is they have to have a mask on,” said Lampkin. “We will have hand sanitizer there for them also. If they do not have a mask the drivers will be able to provide a mask for them.”

The new center builds morale. The added responsibility is quickly assumed.

"Because the kids is what's the most important on the job here," said Howard, an employee of 14 years.

Buses roll on August 31 for any student wanting a ride to school.

No open house can be held at the new transportation center right now. But the public can drive by to take a look. The transportation center is located west of the Nacogdoches High School and adjacent to Dragon Stadium on Loop 224.

On a related school transportation note, the Texas Department of Transportation announced today school zone flashers are being activated this week throughout the Lufkin district for the new school year.

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