School officials seeking the public’s help on bus barn

Riverhead bus barn
BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO | The bus garage is used for mini-bus storage and houses the Riverhead School District’s transportation and maintenance departments.

The Riverhead School District is seeking volunteers for a committee tasked with finding a way to deal with the district’s crumbling bus barn.

The maintenance and storage facility, located between district athletic fields on Osborn Avenue in Riverhead, was built in 1920 to house horses and has fallen into despair, school officials have said.

Members of the new committee will be asked to help find a new location for the bus facility or come up with a plan to redesign the existing facilities and parking areas. Volunteers will be asked to devote one to two evenings per month as plans are developed and finalized.

“We are hopeful that community members with expertise in real estate and transportation would be willing to help us to locate and design a facility that meets our needs and the financial needs of the taxpayers,” said Superintendent Nancy Carney.

In May, residents voted down a proposition that would have allowed the district to purchase two properties near Phillips Avenue Elementary School in Riverside. That plan would have given the district access to a nearby industrial park and, through that property, to Route 24.

Members of the Flanders, Riverside and Northampton Community Association were the primary critics of that proposal, and took the district to task for not including the community in the planning process.

The district owns 100 buses.

“Voters will have several opportunities to approve our plans,” school board president Ann Cotten-DeGrasse said in a statement. “Not only will they need to approve the acquisition of land, but they will also need to approve the expenditure of money from the savings account. These two votes ensure that the community will be involved in this process every step of the way.”

Those interested in joining the committee should e-mail Ms. Carney at [email protected] or write: 700 Osborne Ave., Riverhead, NY 11901.

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