AVON – Matthews Buses Inc., which started in Dansville more than 50 years ago, has moved its Western New York school bus sales, service and support operations, to a significantly expanded facility in East Avon Plaza.
When the second-generation family-owned business began looking at expansion opportunities “it was important that we retain them” in Livingston County, said Livingston County Economic Development Director Bill Bacon, but “new construction costs were extensive and threatened their growth.”
But then they were able to acquire the location off East Avon Road that they were able to retrofit and offer expanded operations to compliment the company’s repair, maintenance and bus sales operations.
“Overall, I believe that this move will set up Matthews Buses for future growth and success,” Bacon said.
Matthews Buses Inc. announced Friday that the facility had opened.
The 35,000-square-foot facility at 5600 Avon-East Avon Rd. is described by the company as the largest school bus service and support centers in the state. The location allows for state-of-the-art service, parts and training facility.
“The new Avon facility is centrally located and provides convenient access to all major highways, allowing our team of road service technicians as well as our in house service team to provide our customers a better more efficient experience,” Guy Matthews, vice president and general manager of Matthews Buses, said in a statement.
The company spent 2019 renovating a major portion of the plaza.
“We built this facility to make sure that the buses used to transport our most valuable treasures, our children, function properly and are the safest they can be,” said Matthews.
The facility includes an 11,000-square-foot service and pre-delivery inspection shop, a 12,000-square-foot body-paint-collision shop, a 3,400-square-foot parts department, a 1,700-square-foot training facility and 7,000 square feet of office space.
Even with all that room, Matthews said the company still has plenty of room for future expansion.
The new service shop will allow the company to work on eight full-size school buses - either under repair or in process for new bus delivery. Matthews Buses Inc. is a school bus dealer for Thomas Built Buses.
The service shop is equipped with a Premier Assessment bay, which will allow Matthews personnel to quickly assess a bus and begin the repair process. The shop is also outfitted with a dedicated wash and detail bay.
The body-paint-collision shop features a new, 20-by-60-foot Accudraft spray booth with environmentally friendly cross draft ventilation. All paint technicians are fully paint and adhesive certified by PPG. An adjacent explosion-proof mixing room is equipped with advanced paint color scanners and PPG computerized mixing equipment.
The parts warehouse will allow Matthews Bus Parts to significantly increase the number of inventoried parts to support its customers’ service departments, as well as the Matthews service center and mobile technicians.
Unique to the pupil transportation industry in New York State, Matthews Buses in Avon has a 1,700-square-foot bus technician training space featuring the latest collaborative training equipment, including distance learning technology. The training facility will accommodate more than 40 people with room to “In addition to training bus technicians this space will be available to area school districts for their training and meeting needs,” Matthews said.
The project included the installation of geothermal heating and cooling equipment “to provided a consistently comfortable work environment,” Matthews said.
All lighting - from the parking lots to the shop to the offices - is LED, Matthews said.
“I’m proud of our commitment to an environmentally friendly existence,” Matthews said.
Matthews Buses was founded in 1967 by Robert and Justine Matthews. The company has three additional locations in New York State, including Ballston Spa, Poughkeepsie and Syracuse.
Matthews Buses Inc. is a division of Matthews Group, which also includes Matthews Mobile Media, Matthews Specialty Vehicles and Master Upfitter make up the Matthews Group.