Mid-Prairie is looking to add a full-sized bus with a wheelchair lift to their fleet. Currently the only wheelchair accessible bus Mid-Prairie has is a mini-bus that can fit one wheelchair at a time. Transportation Director Terresa Hartley informed the school board Monday that the district has five students who need a bus with a lift. With only one way to transport the five students, Hartley says they’ve had to make some tough choices, “[May] 15th is actually a big day for us. We have a senior trip day, we also have the second grade field trip that needs to go out. And we had to choose what kid should get that bus, which is a really hard decision to make.” In addition to the scheduling challenges, the constant use of the mini-bus is creating some mechanical wear and tear, according to Hartley.

The estimated cost is about $120,000. The school board supported the proposal and discussed possibilities such as only buying one bus next year, or buying one used to help with the cost. A public hearing is set to approve the specifications of the bus on June 10th at 7:15 p.m. in the Central Office Community Room.