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District

Bus Storage Facility Project

Bus Storage Facility Meeting Follow-up

5/17/24

This is a follow-up to our Bus Storage Facility input meeting on May 15. The District has requested that the Huntington Beach City Design Review Board postpone the review of the Bus Storage Facility to allow time for the completion of a revised CEQA report. Since the agenda for the meeting has already been posted, District staff will request that this item be postponed to a future meeting during the May 23 Design Review Board meeting.

Bus Yard Renderings

The Huntington Beach City School District plans to build a bus storage facility at the northwest corner of Sowers Middle School. The District has been working with the City and other landowners in Huntington Beach for more than three years to determine a location for the storage facility. The Sowers location is the only viable option for various reasons, such as being within the district boundaries and accessible from a main road. The overall site will be 110 feet by 295 feet, and the Gisler sale proceeds will fund the project. Although the project is adjacent to the school, it is a separate unit and will feature eight-foot-tall walls around the perimeter per Huntington Beach City code requirements. District buses are currently stored at a warehouse on Gothard Street, and the lease expires in April 2025. 

The bus storage facility will house the 14-bus fleet and accommodate our bus drivers. Additionally, it will serve as the location for dispatching the fleet, ensuring efficient route and schedule coordination. The facility will include amenities for routine cleaning of both the exterior and interior of buses, and provisions for simple upkeep tasks such as changing tires and topping off fluids, ensuring the continuous reliability of our transportation fleet. This facility does not have a mechanic's bay or fueling stations typically found in a bus yard. Since our operation is small, we contract with the high school district for fuel and use outside services for bus repairs.

This project represents our commitment to enhancing transportation services cost-effectively for our school community. Important information and dates will be added to this webpage as it becomes available. Dates are subject to change.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

5/17/24

When was the decision made to place the Bus Storage Facility at the Sowers Middle School site?

The District has been working with the City of Huntington Beach, neighboring districts, and other landowners in Huntington Beach for more than three years to determine a location. The Sowers location is the only viable option for various reasons, such as being within the district boundaries and accessible from a main road.

What are the overall dimensions of the Bus Storage Facility site?

The overall site will be 110 feet by 295 feet. Here is HBCSD Bus Storage Facility Dimensions Rendering.

Will this facility relocate the buses by Huntington Beach High School or the bus yard next to Lowes Home Improvement Store on Warner?

No, the facilities mentioned are for Huntington Beach Union High School and Ocean View School District.  The Bus Storage Facility proposed off Indianapolis will replace the Bus Storage Facility previously housed on the Dwyer Middle School campus.

How tall will the concrete block wall be that surrounds the project?

The walls around the project will be eight feet tall.

What time does the transportation team start their buses in the morning?

The Transportation Department's hours of operation are 6:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Currently, the first pre-trip starts at 6:15 AM, this time is based on the students riding the bus and their pickup location. 

What type of fuel do the buses use?

The fleet currently consists of five compressed natural gas (CNG) buses, three diesel buses, and three gasoline buses that are routinely used. It also contains four backup buses. 

The initial design for the Sowers reconstruction project did not show the bus storage facility.  Is this facility utilizing previously planned playground areas for the students?

No, the bus storage facility is utilizing square footage previously planned for additional parking.  Once the Sowers reconstruction project is completed, Sowers will have a similar number of parking stalls to those before construction.

How are the concerns about air quality, noise, and traffic impact being addressed?

Air quality, noise, and traffic are part of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) review process. The District's CEQA consultant worked with Studio W architects during the design process to minimize the project's environmental impacts through design elements such as setting the buildings and buses back from the street, increasing planting, and defining the height of the perimeter walls.

What is the status of the CEQA document? 

The District is in the process of modifying and updating the CEQA document (i.e., Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration (IS/MND)) to address changes to the project and concerns raised by community members. Once the IS/MND is complete, the District will distribute a Notice of Intent (NOI), which will be distributed to a mailing list of interested parties, and a list of properties surrounding the school. The NOI will provide a link to the document on the District’s website. A hard copy of the document will also be available for review at the District office. Comments on the IS/MND may be submitted by mail or email during the 20-day public review period.  The District anticipates the NOI and IS/MND will be circulated by the end of May.

Why did the renderings for new Sowers not include the Bus Storage Facility? 

The District researched alternate locations for the facility while the Sowers Reconstruction Project began. After exhausting all other options, the Sowers campus was the most viable option. 

Can the bus schedules be modified to alleviate potential issues with Sowers's pick-up/drop-off time frames?

The bus routes will be planned, considering traffic patterns around the Bus Storage Facility, city streets, and the school pickup and drop-off times.

What research was conducted to review other potential sites/options for the Bus Storage Facility? 

The District has been working with the City of Huntington Beach, neighboring School Districts, and other landowners in Huntington Beach for more than three years to determine a permanent location for this facility. After an exhaustive review, the District Office site was the only viable option with the District's limited resources.

How many bus yards are in HB?

The Huntington Beach Union High School District and Ocean View School District both house their bus yards within the city limits of Huntington Beach. These yards serve a broader range of functions, including fueling and maintenance, compared to the proposed Bus Storage Facility.

Will this project go through a DSA approval? 

The facility will not house students, allowing the District to choose the agency overseeing its construction. As a custodian of public funds, the District found the City's process to be quicker, more cost-effective, and allows for community involvement. The District could still follow the DSA process if deemed necessary.

Will the bus storage facility include parking for staff? 

The bus storage facility will include thirteen parking spaces and two accessible parking spaces for transportation staff. 

Will the Sowers school parking lot have a locked gate? Will the community be able to park at Sowers and access the park?

The Sowers school parking lot does not have a gate and could be utilized by the community to access the park.