Pat Smith and Chelsea Connolly inspect a new bus.
APACHE JUNCTION, Ariz.
- March 8, 2019
-- People often take a bus to a party, but at Apache Junction Unified School District the buses were the guests of honor at a recent celebration. The Transportation Department received five new buses as part of a settlement plan from the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust.
Qualifying districts were selected based on strong need such as buses that had over 100,000 miles, were 15 years old or more and served a student population where 60 percent or more of the students were on the free or reduced school breakfast or lunch program. AJUSD was one of 112 districts selected to receive 285 new buses. Each district could have up to 10 percent of their fleet replaced.
At the suggestion of AJUSD Buyer, Cheryl Williamson, Canyon State Bus Sales (CSBS) agreed to help the district celebrate their new acquisitions with an outdoor barbecue. CSBS staff grilled hamburgers, hot dogs and provided beverages and a cake. The Transportation Department crew furnished delicious side dishes and Eddie Huff from Maintenance, who occasionally sidelines as a DJ, provided music.
The event was fun, but the buses were definitely the focal point. CSBS staff answered questions about the vehicles, one bus was lifted on a hoist so folks could view the under carriage, the hood was opened up so the engine could be examined and Four Peaks Principal, Chad Cantrell, crawled into the storage compartment of one bus to personally inspect its roominess. Other attendees remained upright and inspected the bus interiors and some went on a road test to check out the ride and feel the chill of a well-functioning, air conditioning system.
In addition to staff and administrators from the schools and departments, AJUSD School Governing Board Members, Chelsea Connolly, Cami Garcia and Christa Rizzi, as well as Apache Junction Mayor Jeff Serdy, attended the celebration.
For those who missed the event, AJUSD Transportation's Head Mechanic Jon Howard, used his drone to take video footage and Bus Driver Brandy Jordan took a video that will soon be posted on the District's Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/ajusd43/