On Dec. 23, 2008, the Wheaton R-III School Board finalized an agreement to purchase property for a new bus barn. The new facility will be located on Highway W across from the current bus barn.
"We have purchased the land across the street where the old funeral home was located," said Superintendent Joe Layton. "It is also where the old Kraft milk plant was. We plan to renovate that old building and build a parking lot for the buses on that lot."
Layton said that the district plans to place a metal extension on the milk plant facility to accommodate its school buses.
"It will not be a major project," said Layton. "The building already has an office and a couple of restrooms. We will just cut one end out of the building and extend it, then place new doors on the facility to secure it.
"The building already has drains in the floor," said Layton. "We will need to rework the electrical system and put new lighting in."
There is room for six buses in the district's current bus barn facility. The new building will allow the transportation department to house another two buses indoors and provide space for two extra bays that will be used for maintenance and repairs.
The Wheaton School Board was able to purchase 1.8 acres, the funeral home facility, the block milk building and an 800-square-foot metal storage building for $108,000. The property purchase and bus barn renovation project will be paid for with capital improvement funds.