Superintendent Dr. Ivan Duran rode the bus to Seahurst Elementary School with guests and staff to watch some kindergarten students hop on the shiny, new bus and wave goodbye after their second day of JumpStart.
Transportation Director Devin Denney said Highline is receiving three more buses for a total of six with help from a grant program administered by the Washington Department of Ecology.
On hand to help with the ribbon cutting was Ecology’s VW Settlement Grants Unit Supervisor, Air Quality Program, Molly Spiller. Spiller said she has helped oversee grants for 40 electric buses, but this was the first time she got to ride in one!
Highline’s Chief of Operations Scott Logan said that replacing diesel- and gas-powered buses with electric buses is a win for lower carbon emissions as well as decreased operating and maintenance costs. He thanked Ecology staff for the first $900,000 reimbursable grant for the three buses, and a $75,000 grant for charging stations. A second round of identical grant funds will help purchase three more buses and charging stations.
Superintendent Duran thanked Spiller and Ecology for the grants and thanked Highline staff in Transportation who worked on the grant applications, and Capital Planning & Construction staff responsible for the installation of the charging stations and electrical service.
“Thank you for helping us step into a better, cleaner future for our students and community,” Duran said.
He noted that a 100-Kilowatt solar panel installation is going in on the roof of Highline High School this month – a student-led project to harness solar energy (read our recent coverage of that here).
“Highline also has a school bond on November ballots that will bring three more of our aging schools into a new future with safer, modern and more energy-efficient learning spaces,” Duran added. “The future is looking very bright in Highline, and I’m so happy to continue this work of helping our students graduate prepared for the future they choose.”
Click below to view photo gallery from the event (photos courtesy Highline Public Schools)::