City finds room for school buses in public works lot

New London - Thirty-seven school buses that were parked at Fort Trumbull but were set to move to New London High School are now being parked in the lot across the street from the public works fuel-filling station under the Gold Star Bridge.

The move to the Crystal Avenue lot was completed last Thursday, Tammy Daugherty, the city's director of development and planning, said Wednesday morning.

"It was determined that the high school was not going to be able to accommodate the buses and their need for an office, so we looked for other alternative locations owned by the city," She said.

The lot had been considered previously as a location for the buses prior to the Board of Education's vote in March, Daugherty said, but it was eliminated because it is not big enough to accommodate both the buses and the bus drivers' personal vehicles.

However, she said, the bus drivers will park their vehicles on the street outside the lot.

Irwin Stillman, developer of Village on the Thames, a 103-unit housing project that is scheduled to break ground May 20, asked the city to move the buses from the Fort Trumbull location because he was concerned about their appearance.

When members of the school board approved the relocation of the buses to the high school, there were concerns raised about a risk of vandalism because of lack of security cameras and a fence. Daugherty said Wednesday that the public works lot is not fenced. But, she said, there have been few instances of vandalism there, the presence of police cars fueling up at the lot should serve as a deterrent.

The city will not charge the bus company to park the buses in the lot, but the district will have to pay for the relocation of the trailer, which drivers also use as a break room. They'll be able to use the restroom facilities in the Public Works garage.

The cost to move the trailer is still under negotiation, Daugherty and Superintendent of Schools Nicholas A. Fischer said.

j.hanckel@theday.com

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