COLUMBUS, Ohio — Columbus City Schools is on its way to replacing half of its fleet with new school buses, district officials said.
The Columbus Dispatch reports that the district’s board of education has approved the purchase of 15 65-passenger units for $1.22 million.
The district is buying the IC buses through Center City International, which offered a 10-year engine warranty.
A state grant will pay for 75 percent of the cost, with the district’s share slightly more than $302,000. The remainder will be funded by a federal Diesel Emissions Reduction Grant.
Steve Vargo, Columbus City Schools’ chief operating officer, told The Columbus Dispatch that with this order, the district will have purchased 261 buses and is 11 buses away from replacing half of its fleet.
Vargo said that good prices, efficient purchasing and grants have facilitated the bus replacements, and he believes that the district will be able to purchase additional units to reach the half-fleet mark.
In January, $1.14 million was approved for the purchase of six hybrid school buses, with the state picking up $279,500 of the tab. The $1.14 million was part of a $164-million bond issue approved in 2008 that is intended for, among other expenditures, bus purchases.