Grand Island School District residents Tuesday in a 404 to 220 vote approved the $6.37 million project for a new transportation center.

The district will build a new 16,000-square-foot building for the school buses behind Sidway Elementary School on Baseline Road and renovate the existing 65-year-old transportation center at the same site for use by maintenance and buildings and grounds.

Interim Superintendent Robert W. Christmann said the project “provides the opportunity to increase safety for the students and parents at Sidway because there will be a separate entrance and exit for the buses.”

A new ring road just for buses will be constructed to the north of the school and its athletic fields that will loop around the rear of the property to reach the new center and bus parking areas.

The project, expected to be completed by September 2014, also includes additional on-site parking. It is eligible for 80.6 percent in state aid, and also will be financed with $1.3 million from a reserve fund, so there will be no impact on the district’s tax levy.