The Washington Times-Herald

January 25, 2013

The wheels on this bus don't go round

Woman makes shelter for bus-bound children

By Andrea McCann
Washington Times Herald

WASHINGTON — Schoolchildren who typically gather in front of Campton’s General Store in the mornings to wait for the school bus now have an opportunity to wait in a bus shelter where they’re protected from bad weather.

Catercorner from Campton’s, at 16th and Jackson streets, Ruth Queen had a small shelter built to look like a miniature school bus. The 4-x-8-foot wooden shelter has benches along each interior wall where kids can sit and wait for Bus 18 to pick them up.

“It’s just something I wanted to do for years,” Queen said, explaining she saw an unenclosed bus stop on Troy Road and thought an enclosed shelter would be nice. “I wanted the kids in out of the weather.”

Her neighbor, Bo Gray, had built playhouses for his daughters, so she asked him to help her with the project.

Queen got leftover plywood from a job she’d worked on and obtained items, including a stop arm, from an old bus through Randy Armes.

She said Vic and Patty Hopkins donated windows for the shelter, which also has a Plexiglass “windshield.”

“It’s adorable,” said Bus 18 driver Carla Tolliver. “I watched them build it and put it together. It’s so detailed. I’m curious to know if the stop arm goes in and out so I know someone’s in it.”

Washington Community Schools buses began picking students up at bus stops this year instead of stopping at each student’s home.

That makes it particularly nice, Tolliver said, for the kids to have a place to wait together out of the weather. She said several students wait for her at Campton’s each morning and they don’t seem to realize they can wait inside the little bus in Queen’s front yard.

“We’ve got a lot of rain coming up next week, so it may get a trial,” Tolliver said.