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February 24, 2013

Expansion planned at Nova Bus plant

PLATTSBURGH — Plans call for an expansion of the Nova Bus plant in the Town of Plattsburgh.

Prevost Car, which like Nova Bus is part of the Volvo Bus Group, proposes an 8,740-square-foot addition for the assembly, testing and inspection of motor coaches.

NEW JOBS

According to the Town of Plattsburgh Planning Board summary of the plan, Prevost estimates hiring 34 employees once expansion is complete. That could increase to 49 workers by the third year.

The addition would be at the southeast end of the Nova Bus building. It would include an assembly site, as well as water-testing, bus-washing and inspection areas.

The plan also includes an additional 26,498 square feet of asphalt parking area for parking and storage of the motor coaches.

CELEBRITY COACHES

Prevost Car builds traditional seated tour buses and conversion models. The latter are used to create high-end motor homes and buses for corporate or specialty uses, such as tour buses for entertainers. 

The company’s headquarters are in Sainte-Claire, Quebec. Prevost dates back to 1924, when Eugene Prevost built his first wooden coach body and mounted it on a new REO truck chassis. 

‘GREAT OPPORTUNITY’

The Plattsburgh plant opened in 2009. Nova Bus spokeswoman Isabelle Grégoire said it has slightly more than 200 employees here.

Town Supervisor Bernie Bassett said he has been impressed with the work at Nova Bus every time he has toured the plant. He welcomed the news that the expansion, if it is approved, would create new jobs rather than shuffling present employees to do the work.

“I think this brings a great opportunity to all of us for more jobs,” he said.

While the two companies are related, Bassett said, the difference in the type of vehicles makes it more like a new company coming to the area. 

The region will also benefit as potential customers travel to Plattsburgh to see the operation.

“This is another label with ‘Made in Plattsburgh’ on it,” he said. “That can only help promote the region.”

PLAN REVIEW

A sketch plan for the expansion received approval from the Town of Plattsburgh Planning Board Tuesday night. The project still requires approval of a detailed preliminary plan before work can begin.

That plan is expected to be presented at the Planning Board meeting in April.

Email Dan Heath: dheath@pressrepublican.com

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