New London — The Board of Education voted 6-1 Wednesday to relocate the 37 buses currently parked in a vacant lot at Fort Trumbull to the parking lot at New London High School.
Board member William Morse was the sole dissenter.
The move to the high school could be temporary if a more suitable location is found, Chairwoman Margaret Curtin said.
“There’s a $26 million project going in which we’ve been waiting for years to get, and the developer would like to see the buses moved, and the owner would like to see the buses moved,” Curtin said. “The city doesn’t ask us for very much, and I don’t see a problem with this at this time.”
Irwin Stillman, developer of Village on the Thames, a 103-unit housing project that is scheduled to break ground this spring, asked the city to move the buses because he was concerned about their appearance. School Building & Maintenance Committee members approved the relocation of the buses to the high school in an 8-1 vote, according to the minutes of the March 15 meeting.
Years ago, the school buses were parked at the high school lot, but that was before the Science & Technology Magnet High School was built.
Morse cited potential issues with security at the high school.
“The move was made a couple years back because of vandalism,” Morse said. “My concern is security for buses back in the location where there was initially a problem.”
According to a report done by the Capitol Region Education Council in January, parking buses in school parking lots often results in more vandalism. A solution to that issue, the report states, is to add lighting, fencing, video monitoring and/or security guards.
The parking lot is not completely video-monitored and is not adequately lit, Superintendent Nicholas A. Fischer said. He said the district cannot afford to add a security guard or do any of the things the report mentions as possible solutions to prevent vandalism.
“They would have to come from the city,” he said.