The industry is setting up fort in Iowa's capital city weeks after NASDPTS called for proposals to find a new home for the National Congress on School Transportation, which celebrates its 75th anniversary next May.
Des Moines, Iowa was the winning bid to host NCST, which is held every five years, to update and amend the National School Bus Specifications & Procedures manual that covers everything from bus body and chassis standards to operations, special needs, security and safety. Meetings will be held May 16 through May 20.
The Airport Holiday Inn, which is directly across the street from the Des Moines International Airport terminal, will host the entire Congress, providing 250 rooms and a 12,000 square-foot convention hall. NASDPTS said it secured a room block with the rate of $95 plus taxes per night.
Des Moines International services most major airlines, including Allegiant, American, Delta, Frontier, United, U.S. Airways and Southwest. NASDPTS said free shuttle service will be provided between the airport and hotel.
Now known as NCST, the event was first held in 1939 and organized by Frank T. Cyr, the "father of the yellow school bus," as the buses' iconic color was approved during that event at Columbia University's Teachers College.
The campus of the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg, Missouri was the traditional home of NCST for the past several decades. But this fall the university informed NASDPTS it would no longer host and help organize NCST, which prompted an RFP by NASDPTS that was sent earlier this month to identify the new location. In a statement, NASDPTS said several "very good locations" responded, but the location, convenience and affordability of the Des Moines proposal won out.
NASDPTS said NCST committees will hold meetings on Saturday, May 16 and Sunday, May 17. The Congress begins for state delegations and other interested parties on Sunday with a Welcome Reception at 5 p.m. local time. Sunday evening opening ceremonies will begin at 6:30 p.m. and will include the charge to the delegates and a review of the Congress's organizational procedures. Parliamentary deliberations and voting will take place all day Monday and Tuesday and a half day on Wednesday, concluding with lunch. The Congress will adjourn when lunch ends at 1:15 p.m.
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