GLOUCESTER, Va. (WAVY) – On Monday, Gloucester County Public School students head back to school. This year, their buses will leave to pick them up from a brand new, state-of-the-art facility.

The $8 million project opened just weeks ago. It allows the school system’s buses to be held on one lot, while giving mechanics a safe place to move around and work on the buses.

Tanya Deckard is the Director of Transportation for Gloucester County Public Schools. She says the transportation facility has been in the planning stages for more than 30 years. The previous facility was built in the late 40s. Obviously, buses have changed a lot since then in both size and technology.

Deckard says the new transportation facility in Gloucester gives mechanics plenty of room to work while using state of the art technology to make buses safer.

“This allows us to actually get buses on a lift where we can life them up, get under there, make sure all the little safety mechanisms are in place. There’s a great air filtration system here where we’re able to make sure the mechanics are safe, but it’s also a facility where we’re able to put all of our fleet on one site,” Deckard said.

She says another exciting element is that the school system now has the ability to incorporate education into the transportation facility.

“We actually invite graduating seniors from our mechanical program at the high school to come here and learn more about the school buses and diesel mechanics and get that kind of under their belt, almost like an internship.”

She says some of the graduating special education students also get to go to the transportation facility to learn about car detailing and more skills that they can take into their future after they graduate.

Deckard says Gloucester County Public School buses transport an average of 4,047 students per day. During an average school year, she says the school system’s buses travel a little over 1 million miles.