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PATCO recently completed an exciting and forward-thinking project with the Bonny Eagle School District, or Maine Administrative School District #6. MSAD #6 operates the largest public school bus fleet in the state of Maine. Their buses cover a lot of ground – over 5,000 miles each day serving the towns of Standish, Buxton, Hollis, Limington, and Frye Island. MSAD #6 was one of the first districts in the state to operate propane-powered buses, which considerably reduce emissions and additionally offer cost savings, and they needed to expand their propane fueling station. PATCO won the bid and got started on the project at the end of last summer.

Propane tank at new fueling station for MSAD#6The main goal of the project was to create a safe and functioning propane fueling station for MSAD’s fleet of buses. The project included sitework such as excavating and trenching, as well as paving new driveways, building a concrete foundation and slab, erecting a pre-engineered metal building, installing a propane fuel tank and fueling dispenser, and completing all necessary utility work. The end result was a site with a propane tank and pump dispenser on an island for easy bus fueling and a 3,200 square foot warehouse with a 12×12 overhead door for storage. The grass island with the propane tank is shielded by natural boulders to protect the island area, as well as to give a more natural aesthetic in lieu of guard rails. Additional fencing and bollards also contribute to site safety as well.

One of the biggest challenges in this project was value engineering the original bid for MSAD #6. PATCO Assistant Engineer and Commercial Estimator, Ethan Belanger, took the lead on the project and helped guide MSAD #6 into a budget that worked for them, but also delivered a final product that made them happy and met their needs. Belanger and the PATCO team offered solutions by being communicative and working to understand the goals of MSAD #6, while also offering their expertise on which direction would be the most feasible, sustainable, and economical.

This project also highlighted some of the amazing partnerships PATCO Construction has with our family of subcontractors. PATCO works hard to build trustworthy relationships with our subs on every project because we value having – and keeping – strong relationships. PATCO is lucky to work with some of the best subs in their respective trades and the quality of the finished product is not only a reflection of PATCO, but of each individual subcontractor as well. To complete this project on time and on budget, we worked with a great team including, Varco Pruden Buildings, Shaw Earthworks Inc, Dayton Sand & Gravel, Aube Electrical, Comfort Systems USA, Williams Foundations Inc, RD Concrete Works, Kelley Bros of New England LLC, Door Services Inc, HA Stone & Sons Inc, and Itchy & Scratchy Insulators.

For Belanger, this project was an incredible learning experience as well. “I am most proud of what I learned from everyone I worked with on this job. From the support staff in PATCO’s office, to the subs in the field, to the entire MSAD and Port City Architecture teams, everyone was willing to share their knowledge and experiences with me throughout the whole process. And the job could not have been done without Ron Mercier, our field superintendent, as well as our Steel Crew. Their commitment to delivering the highest quality and value to MSAD#6 had a tremendous impact on this project. They are all an incredible asset to the PATCO team. It feels rewarding to be a part of a project that helps transport kids to school in a safer and healthier way while also helping the whole community. I am honored to be part of such an established team, and I look forward to many PATCO projects in the future!”