On Stevens Road, Larson-Danielson Construction is building a new transportation structure to better meet the needs of the La Porte Community School Corporation. The new building will solve a variety of problems for administrators, bus drivers, and other staff.
“The new building will have a bus repair facility and will also support their food service. The school corporation’s general construction and maintenance department will also have space in this building,” said Project Director at Larson-Danielson Construction David Merkel.
The current bus facility is inconvenient for bus drivers, many of whom attended the groundbreaking ceremony that took place on July 29. They shared the excitement with other community members.
“The drivers, for several years, have not had really good conditions where they parked in a gravel parking lot and had to walk up a hill,” said Dr. Mark Francesconi, superintendent of La Porte County Community Schools. “Even the area where we're parking the buses was really tight, so this will be much better for all those things in the long run.”
The old building does not cover all the district’s needs. Larson-Danielson considered a variety of concerns when planning the building.
“We have our current transportation building that needs a lot of work and is just not conducive to the parking that we have for our drivers and our school buses,” said Greg Hunt, assistant superintendent for business and operations for La Porte Community School Corporation. “Then we have a maintenance and food service building on Rumley Street and now our food service storage will be held here as well as a maintenance area.”
An improved maintenance area will ensure safety on buses. It will also improve the cleanliness of buses by providing a cleaning area.
“It has a workshop for our maintenance department to be able to utilize as well and we'll have truck storage for them in addition to all the buses parked out here, so it's really going to be more convenient for our employees or staff. It's more centrally located and that's pretty convenient as well,” Hunt said.
The current bus storage issue not only harms the drivers but also inconveniences other citizens on their way to work.
“The new building will house facilities the school corporation already has, but will allow them to get out of the city where it's a little less congested,” Merkel said. “So, it will free up town a little bit when the buses are all rolling in or going out.”
“We all agreed that this was a change that had to be made,” said Jim Arnold, vice president of the La Porte Community School Board. “We’re thankful for the operations and City Municipal Board that helped us do this land swap.”
A variety of teams put in work to address this issue and improve how the school district functions.
“We're certainly thankful to the city of La Porte for making this here possible from the beginning with the work that we did with them to secure this property,” said Francesconi. “We're thankful for Schmidt Associates and Larson-Danielson, of course, for the services throughout this. It's been a long journey. So, it's really exciting to be here today.”
To learn more about Larson-Danielson Construction Company, visit https://www.ldconstruction.com/.