Leaders from the Agua Fria Union High School District came together with Chasse Building Team and SPS+ Architects to celebrate the groundbreaking of the Agua Fria High School District Transportation and Warehouse Center at 2795 N. Cotton Lane in Goodyear on March 17.
The 20,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility, set across 8.5 acres, is targeted to be completed later this year and will replace the bus yard on the Agua Fria High School campus.
This center is an investment in the community, district, students and faculty team, said Tom Huffman, deputy superintendent of operations at AFUHSD.
He said the district is proud of the project to because it supports access to education throughout the West Valley.
“We’ve got a whole team in transportation that goes largely unnoticed, but they work really hard behind the scenes, and what they do is so important, they get the kids to school on time, safe and in the right mindset to learn,” Huffman said.
“I’m really excited to provide them a facility that they can take pride in and that will help them in their operations by being more centrally located, by being cost efficient, by having the right equipment that they need and by having the space that they need. It’s going to be an awesome facility for our transportation staff.”
The Transportation and Warehouse Center, which will be made from block and steel, will support nearly 3,000 riders across general education, alternative programs and exceptional student services. The facility will have three primary structures.
The first will be an administrative building featuring offices, training space, payroll and dispatch, developed to provide ample space for the current 60-plus team members as well as room to grow.
The second structure is a warehouse, which will house specialty equipment and tools to maintain the district’s fleet of buses. It will also provide space for training programs for automotive specialists.
The final building will be home to a bus hangar, the actual bays for the vehicles.
The transportation center comes at the perfect time, Huffman said, as the district has outgrown its previous location due to the West Valley’s growth.
“Our numbers in the last decade have grown from 6,000 to over 9,000 students, so the current facility just wasn’t going to be sufficient,” he said. “This is a facility that we believe we’re doing in a very cost-efficient manner that is using district resources in the right way. Any dollar that we’re not spending in the classroom, we really want to take a close look at. So it’s really important to have a very cost-efficient, fiscally responsible building here.”
The Agua Fria Union High School District was established in 1955. Today, the district serves Avondale, Buckeye, Goodyear, Litchfield, Waddell and part of Glendale with its five high schools — Agua Fria, Canyon View, Desert Edge, Millennium and Verrado — and two alternative programs, Coldwater and New Directions.
“We have wonderful kids, we have wonderful communities out here, we’ve got a lot of families that really support our schools” he said.
“Our staff is one of the things that really makes the district work, and we’ve just got a lot of wonderful people in our district. And our district has always been willing to take chances to try and be innovative to look at new and better ways to do things to benefit our kids and by keeping the kids at the center of the decision making.”