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Grossmont school district opens new transportation center for electric bus fleet

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Wednesday to celebrate Grossmont Union High School District’s new Transportation Services Center.

The 32,000-square-foot facility focuses on green technology for a future of fully electric buses in the district. It includes nine bus maintenance bays, a drive-through bus wash and extensive parts storage.

“This relentless commitment to resource conservation across the district saves more than $2 million in annual energy costs,” said District Superintendent Mary Beth Kastan.

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Jacob Aere
A man speaks from a podium inside Grossmont Union High School District’s new Transportation Services Center, Sept. 21, 2022.

The $24 million center also features cutting-edge automotive maintenance and safety technology, new tools, training, bus dispatch and administrative support offices.

The electric buses help more than the environment. All the money that’s being saved by using electric buses instead of diesel ones is going back to students in the district.

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Jacob Aere
A fleet of buses are lined up outside of Grossmont Union High School District’s new Transportation Services Center, Sept. 21, 2022.

Sofia Romeo is part of the district’s engineering and architecture pathway in the Career & Technical Education program.

“We work with a lot of computer programmed robots and a lot of those supplies are a lot of money,” the West Hills High School senior said. “A lot of times if we do not get the grant for it, if we do not get the money for it, we do not do it. So I'm really happy to note the students in my pathway will get to experience a lot of things that I could not experience.”

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Jacob Aere
A group of people from the ribbon-cutting ceremony ride inside a new electric bus, Sept. 21, 2022.

The transportation services center will start by running 17 electric buses. That’s the first phase of the district’s plan to replace 67 diesel fueled buses over the next 20 years.

Brooklyn Price is another student in the district’s CTE program who said the center is inspiring her peers to pursue careers in renewable energy.

“Right now we have multiple programs at multiple schools to teach everybody about green energy and all the renewable sources that will benefit us in the future and stop greenhouse gasses,” the Santana High School Senior said.

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Jacob Aere
A fleet of buses are lined up outside of Grossmont Union High School District’s new Transportation Services Center, Sept. 21, 2022.

The new center is contributing one more step toward sustainability: rooftop solar to harness renewable energy for the facility’s operations.

The District said it will charge its buses during school hours when there’s strong solar power generation and overnight to reduce need during peak stress on the grid.

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