Gainesville School gets grant for new, lower-emission buses
The Gainesville School District has purchased three brand-new school buses as part of the Missouri Clean Diesel Program, a joint effort between the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the Volkswagen Trust that aims to reduce diesel emissions. The grant program paid 60 percent of the cost of the buses, a total of $162,000, said Gainesville superintendent Justin Gilmore.
He credited the district’s school bus mechanic Luke Cooley with making the purchases possible.
“Luke is the reason we got this grant,” Gilmore said, adding that the program required taking photos of interior components of the vehicles and gathering information and other requested materials. “He was instrumental in putting the grant application together,” Gilmore said.
Because the program aims to reduce emissions from older vehicles, the school is required to destroy three older buses. Gilmore says the three buses that will be destroyed were at the end of their life cycle anyway, and the school wouldn’t have been able to sell them for much. Gilmore says the school plans to sell the buses for scrap metal, which will provide a small amount of money in return.
Gilmore told the Times that the new buses will be used as “trip buses,” transporting students and teachers to extracurricular activities and field trips. The three trip buses the school had been using will be transitioned into regular route buses.
Cooley said the school currently has a fleet of 19 buses that serve the district.