Kettering schools plan $1.1M bus hub project, work on ‘in-limbo’ Barnes building

School district will upgrade bus facility near Beavertown school this summer; decision on future of 1920s-era Barnes building could come in 3-4 months

The Kettering school district plans to expand its transportation facility — a renovation that’s part of more than $2.5 million in upcoming projects, including the removal of hazardous materials in the D.L Barnes building.

The estimated $1.1 million renovation of the Wilmington Pike bus site next to Beavertown Elementary School will see nearly one-third of its 14,000 square feet renovated along with a 1,500 square-foot addition, said Jeff Johnson, the district’s business services director.

“Structurally, it’s in good shape. But it just needs … some renovations,” he said of the facility built in 1970. “We’re looking at the roof, looking to expand the training room, upgrading the restrooms and office space.”

Ruetschle Architects in Dayton is working on plans for the project, which is targeted to start and be completed during the district’s summer break, Johnson said.

The facility is the base of the district’s transportation staff of about 100 employees, most of whom are part-time, and Kettering schools’ fleet of about 70 buses, he added.

The renovation was on a list of several projects Kettering’s board of education approved in December 2022 as part of a 10-year deal to finance the work.

The projects outlined will not exceed $5 million, Kettering records show. Permanent improvement levy funds will go annually toward paying for the financing, board President Toby Henderson said at that time.

Henderson said the financing was a way “to accelerate some of the projects that have become fairly pressing.”

Completed work includes the Beavertown school roof and the roof at Southdale Elementary School, projects estimated at $600,000 and $300,000, respectively, according to district records.

Other projects in the works include a new chiller for Kettering Fairmont High School ($603,000) and the Barnes abatement ($245,000), documents show.

The removal of hazardous materials from the 95-year-old vacant building at 3750 Far Hills Ave. is being done by Midwest Environmental Inc., which was awarded the project late last year.

“They’re in there now,” Johnson said. “They’re starting to get things prepped up. And then hopefully in the next couple of weeks the abatement process” should start.

Abatement of hazardous materials must be done whether the district opts to demolish the building or keep at least part of it, district officials said.

The board voted more than a year ago to demolish Barnes, saying that maintaining the district’s oldest building was not worth further taxpayer money.

Since then, private organizations — including Dayton’s Schiewetz Foundation and Kettering City Schools Forward Foundation — have been involved in talks about preserving at least the original wing of the building, officials on both sides have said.

“We’re still having those conversations with private organizations,” Johnson said.

Whatever the ultimate decision on Barnes, the district may have a decision within the next three or four months, he said.

About the Author