By Thomas Lucey
Office of the Superintendent
The Concord School Committee has voted to participate in a regional effort to secure grant funding to pay for a portion of up to four electric buses. Several Massachusetts school districts seeking to electrify their bus fleets are working together with the hope of submitting a grant application for a combined 25 buses among the districts.
Even if the grant was secured, there would be a delta between what the grant would pay and the cost of the buses which would be incurred by Concord Public Schools. Members said this was an opportunity they could not let pass, as it would allow the district to advance one of their sustainability goals of addressing the bus fleet.
In addition to the grant to offset costs for purchasing electric buses, committee members and district leaders will be exploring a grant to help with upgrading infrastructure associated with managing an electric bus fleet, such as quicker charging batteries and charging stations.
Additionally, committee members worked with district leaders to fund and install safety improvements on the Concord-Carlisle High School campus that include wi-fi upgrades to expand coverage outside of the school building as well as blue light phones.
The wi-fi will be expanded to areas outside both main doors to the building as well as at the nurse’s and main offices. The phones are designed with a bright blue light on the station that will be seen from most points on the campus; the stations can connect callers directly to the Concord Police and Fire Departments.
Both the wi-fi and blue light phones are scheduled to be installed for when students return to school for the 2023-24 school year.