PUYALLUP, Wash. — A school district here that recently had dozens of buses destroyed or damaged in a fire will still provide full service on the first day of school today, thanks to support from several districts across the state.
Although a fire at Puyallup School District’s bus maintenance facility destroyed 20 new buses last week, the district’s bus routes will remain as previously set, with the use of 14 buses loaned by several districts across the state, according to a news release from the district. The buses were previously inspected by the Washington State Patrol.
Loaning districts include:
• Hood Canal School District
• Kent School District
• North Thurston Public Schools
• Northshore School District
• Oak Harbor Public Schools
• Peninsula School District #401
• Sedro-Woolley School District
• Snoqualmie Valley School District
The buses provided can seat up to 84 passengers. Large buses were required in order to serve existing bus stops and routes, according to the district's news release.
Although routes will remain the same, the loaned buses will not be labeled with the Puyallup School District’s name. For this reason, the transportation department sent email messages to all impacted families informing them of the loaning district’s name on the side of their students’ bus.
Also lost in the fire was Puyallup School District’s radio communication system, but it was expected to be realigned in time for the first day of school.
District officials have expressed gratitude to the many school districts that offered assistance. Chief Operations Officer Mario Casello has contacted many other community members and organizations who offered support and volunteered their time to thank them for their offers.
“We have been amazed by the response from the Puyallup community and beyond,” Casello said. “The students in Puyallup are fortunate to have such a caring community.”
Puyallup School District posted this video of some of the loaner school buses on its Facebook page.