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State officials will come see bus barn, Campbell school

Campbell County School District trustees will participate this month in special meetings that include tours with state officials.

School buses parked at the Campbell County School District bus barn on W. 8th Street in 2018. (Ryan Lewallen/County 17)

GILLETTE, Wyo. — Campbell County School District trustees will participate this month in special meetings that include tours with state officials.

Trustees will join the State Construction Department School Facilities Division and School Facilities Commission to tour Campbell County High School and the district’s transportation facility, according to a June 1 memo from Clerk/Assistant Treasurer Larry Steiger. The tours begin at 10:30 a.m. June 6.

The School Facilities Commission, which is a governor-appointed board, and State Construction Department members will gather in Buffalo, before coming to Campbell County, and the tour will likely be delayed until 10:45 a.m., Campbell County School District Associate Superintendent of Instructional Support Dennis Holmes said at the May 23 school board meeting. The tour will include about 15 people, in addition to school board members.

Holmes said he hopes the commissioners and state department will identify the facility’s needs, which include lack of space, during the roughly hour-long tour.

“I’m not speaking negatively, but I’m speaking honestly, the transportation center needs to be completely refurbished, rebuilt,” he said.

The center requires more hoists, bays and wash facilities, among other items.

“It’s not a scheduled meeting, for us to propose ideas and concepts and so on, but it is a great opportunity to talk about the reality of what we’re faced with,” he said.

They’ll then have another roughly hour-long tour at about 12:30 p.m., with the same goals, at the high school.

School board vice-chair Lisa Durgin said that a site visit is ideal for the state representatives to understand the facilities’ challenges.

“There’s nothing better than just putting eyes on it,” she said.

The Wyoming State Construction Department School Facilities Commission’s June 7 and 8 meeting at Johnson County School District will include an informational presentation regarding Campbell County High School and the bus barn, Holmes said. That presentation will take place at about 9:30 a.m. June 7.

Trustees will also attend a 1 p.m. June 28 tour of Campbell County High School with the Select Committee on School Facilities, which also wants to see the facility’s needs, Holmes said. The committee will have a meeting June 29 at the Gillette College Technical Education Center’s flex space, 3251 S. 4-J Road, Gillette. That meeting is open to the public.

Board Chair Anne Ochs said in November that the board has been unsuccessfully trying for years to move and replace the existing bus barn, which was built in the 1970s and is rated for 60 buses. The district now has 251 vehicles, making the bus barn 400% over capacity, she said. As one of the two oldest high schools in Wyoming, Campbell County High School, which was built in 1971, also needs to be renovated or rebuilt, she said.

Campbell County commissioners in a divided vote on April 18 awarded the school district property in the Bicentennial Park Subdivision for a new bus barn.

The public can view official meeting minutes during regular office hours at the district clerk’s office, at 1000 W. 8th St., Gillette.