West gets new activity bus

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By Don Pace

West Las Vegas High School and Middle School students will be traveling in comfort and style as they hit the road in their new activity bus.

Bus driver Ronnie Lopez picked up the new ride in Albuquerque Friday and has already ferried students on a field trip and to a Lady Dons softball game.

“It drives like a Cadillac, really quiet and smooth,” Lopez said.

He said the 46-passenger bus comes with plush bucket seats and climate-controlled air and heat that adjusts to the desired temperature with a touch of a button.

It also has many added safety features like a jake brake that slows the bus when it’s going down steep hills.

“That way the brakes don’t heat up, which can cause you to lose your brakes.”

Other features include adjustable gas and brake pedals and a big comfortable air-controlled driver’s seat that adjusts to the individual driver’s physical proportions.

“Both the passengers and the driver are comfortable,” Lopez said.

On Saturday, the Lady Dons softball team rode in the bus to Espaola. “When we passed through Santa Fe and Espaola, we had heads turning everywhere we went,” Lopez said.

Board president Kenny Lujan, vice president Gary and member Caroline Lopez were inspecting the bus Monday. The bus is also turning heads around town with its green-and-gold paint job and Dons logo gracing the front.

“This year, we were told we could get our buses painted other colors besides school bus yellow, so we asked that it be painted in school colors, which are Kelly green and Notre Dame gold,” Lujan said.

Lopez said she thinks students at West deserve the very best and they can now travel in comfort and style, “it’s beautiful.” She said coaches, teachers and students give so much of their own time going out of town representing their school and city and now they have a good traveling bus.

Gold said, “I think this is going to be really exciting for the kids. When I was a kid, we were so proud to travel in the Dons bus, and this new bus brings back memories of that tradition and hopefully will give students an added incentive to participate in activities like choir or athletics.”

Transportation director Loretta Salazar said the bus is a good addition to the fleet and will be in great demand by everyone taking out-of-town trips. She said those taking the longest trips would have priority.

Superintendent Jim Abreu said, “Oh my goodness, this bus is so fancy and it’s the envy of every superintendent in the state.”

Abreu said six video screens and DVD player were donated.