Sophomore refurbishes school bus

With a love for tiny houses, sophomore Rachel Mandt is refurbishing a bus with the help of her dad. 

Mandt found her interest in refurbishing a bus while watching a documentary on Netflix about a couple from Germany who travelled to America from Germany to live out of their bus and travel the United States. 

Mandt has been in the Extended Learning Program (ELP) since the fifth grade, and she did a project over refurbishing a bus in eighth grade. 

They had just gotten new materials to put in an actual floor to the bus. Mandt and her dad try to work on it at least once a week. She is very busy with cross country and track, but she always tries to find a day during the weekends to make an adjustment to the bus.

They have just moved on from the demolition portion and will now begin assembling the bus. Mandt said, “It will probably be a never ending process, like just adding things here and there.” 

Mandt and her dad hope to take the bus out this summer for its first trip. 

With hesitation to start the project, Rachel’s dad wanted to put off starting until an older age. However, after the pandemic hit, Mandt’s father found it a good time to start since they now had much more free time being in quarantine.

They ended up buying a 1999 bus that was used by the Des Moines school district for a few years. The bus was then passed through some other owners before ending up with the Mandt family. 

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