Plans for a new transportation operations and maintenance facility on North Campus took another step forward Thursday as the Board of Regents approved the schematic design.

The $38.5 million, 100,000-square-foot building will be located near Dean Road between Baxter and Hubbard roads, relocating from Kipke Drive on the Stephen M. Ross Athletic Campus.

The new operations and maintenance facility will accommodate current and future maintenance space needs, including the flexibility to handle larger articulated buses. It also will house heavy-equipment maintenance operations that are currently in a separate building.

An artist’s rendering of the new transportation operations and maintenance facility.

“Our goal is to continue to help Parking & Transportation Services meet its safety operational efficiency and sustainability needs,” said Steve Dolen, executive director of Parking & Transportation Services.

“The new location will save approximately $400,000 per year in operating expenses by reducing miles buses spend out of service to get onto established bus routes and improving operational efficiency.”

Additionally, there will be no expansion of bus traffic onto Green Road as a result of the new facility.

Since the current building was constructed in 1974, the university’s bus fleet has grown by approximately 45 percent, and the number of vehicles it operates has grown nearly 140 percent and its driver staff has doubled.

The new facility will meet current guidelines for vehicle maintenance facilities, including improved vehicle circulation and appropriate work zones for improved safety.

The facility also allows Parking & Transportation Services to maintain and operate larger articulated buses to move more passengers in one trip, which helps to meet its sustainability goals of less greenhouse gas emissions and fewer passenger trips.

Departing the current site will make available nearly 185 spaces on the Ross Athletic Campus for commuters and event parking.

Construction is scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2017.