Pocatello is set to start construction on a multi-million dollar facility to house the city’s bus fleet.
The plan is to start building the new bus depot in the spring.
It will provide an area for passengers, a covered site for buses overnight and a large maintenance shop.
Possibly no one is as excited for the new building than the mechanics, who in the current shop, constantly have to deal with a leaky roof and building that gets so cold in the winter they’ve nicknamed it the “ice castle”.
“You practically have to have an umbrella out here because it’s just dropping rain all over. And knowing we have a building in the near future is a very positive thing and we’re extremely excited for that,” PRT Operations Supervisor Skyler Beebe said.
Despite heaters going full blast mechanics stay bundled up.
Those working there said the building doesn’t hold in the heat and that it’s not just uncomfortable, it’s expensive.
“The heating just can’t keep up. It’s a very inadequate system and it’s having a hard time. And utility-wise it’s eating us alive,” PRT Operations Supervisor Skyler Beebe said.
Pocatello Transit Director Dave Hunt said there’s been a need to upgrade for years but it’s taken till now to secure the federal grants.
“This has been a project that we’ve been pursuing for now about nine years pretty aggresively,” Hunt said.
The total cost of the project is expected to be $3.5 million, and federal dollars should cover about 80 percent.
“Even of the remaining 20 percent match, we hope to offset some of the cash requirement by utilizing some of the public works department and some of the resources within the city,” Hunt said.
The new facility is set to be built on a field across the street from the Bannock County Sheriff’s Office.