New Bus Arrives at MHA

By Karrie Meyers
Amongst screams and cheers a new chapter began Thursday morning at Mile High Academy with the arrival of a 2014 Setra bus wrapped MHA’s Mustang branding.
Late last year, MHA bid a fond farewell to its 1981 coach bus and announced an active search for a replacement. Now thanks to funding by an AdventHealth Secondary Education grant, AdventHealth-Rocky Mountain and a provide donation, MHA’s dreams became a reality.
“It has been a process to say the least,” said Jocelyn Aalborg, MHA’s vice principal of finance and development. “We had an amazing team helping us research what was available, ask the right questions and spend hours poring over photos and listings. We can’t say thank you enough to Kevin Waller for not only negotiating for us but also flying to Las Vegas to drive the bus back after an epic snow storm.”
Purchased from Las Vegas Bus Sales, the new-to-MHA bus seats 56 passengers. Upgrades from the previous bus includes a bathroom, cruise control, power side mirrors, reclining seats, DVD player, window shades and power outlets for charging devices while on trips.
The bus arrived in the Denver area last Tuesday and was parked in an undisclosed location until the reveal. Waller drove the bus on campus for the first time Thursday morning, surprising the students who thought they were outside practicing for their monthly routine fire drill. The classes were able to take rides and also received celebratory cookies.
Fourth-grader Elli said, “The whole bus felt a lot bigger. I’m looking forward to riding on it during field trips.”
The sixth-grade class clapped and jumped up and down when they saw the bus for the first time. After they completed their ride, student Gavin said, “It was like an airplane version of a bus. It’s way better than our old bus, and I’m definitely looking forward to riding on it again.”
“It was awesome and felt just like a tour bus,” sixth-grader Ryan chimed in.
“I am thankful for the opportunity to help MHA find and select a coach that will last the school for many years to come,” said Waller. “Thanks to our donors that allowed this need to come to fruition.”
MHA was awarded the AdventHealth Secondary Education grant late last year. While the grant was a solid foundation to starting the research process, it quickly became obvious more funding was needed to find a lower mileage, dependable bus. Upon hearing about the additional funding need, the leadership of AdventHealth-Rocky Mountain reached out, offering to provide financial support. This funding in addition to a private donation allowed MHA’s team to expand its search, resulting in Waller locating the Setra bus.
“As a MHA alumnus with fond memories of trips on the old bus, it’s not always easy to close one chapter and open another,” said Aalborg. “However, God truly lead in this opportunity for our school. We are excited to not only have reliable transportation for our students but also have a beautiful bus that MHA can be proud to take around the community and on trips. I look forward to telling my grandkids someday about how this bus became a part of MHA’s history.”
To watch the bus arrive on campus for the first time, visit MHA’s Facebook page: