Lindenhurst team brings the first ‘skoolie’ experience to L.I. with Apt. 84


It’s a beach house on wheels.

But before then, it was just an ordinary school bus.

We’re talking about Long Island’s first traveling “skoolie” named Apt. 84.  For the uninitiated, a skoolie is a bus that has been converted and repurposed, mostly for tiny home purposes.

[Scroll down to learn all about Apt. 84 on Greater Long Island’s The 495 Podcast.]

“It’s built so a family could live in it, but we don’t,” said Lindenhurst resident Catherine Ovejas, who developed the bus with longtime commercial driver Jose Rivera.  “We’re builders, designers and this was a creative, passion project for us.”

Rivera, who bought the 2001 International passenger bus for $3,500, completely remodeled the bus to include a kitchen with a fridge and oven, a bathroom that has a standup shower and toilet, several lounge areas to rest or sleep, as well as a deck on the bus’ roof.

Ovejas played a big part in designing and decorating Apt. 84.

The inside has a cozy feel to it, with light colors and inspirational decor.

“I didn’t eliminate any windows because I wanted to connect with the outside,” said Rivera.

According to the two, it took around six months to complete the transformation from a school bus to a 225-square-foot tiny home.

One of the first times the public ever saw the eye-catching creation was at last year’s Maker Faire at New York Hall of Science in Queens.

It quickly became the biggest attraction at the fair.

“We actually blew it out of the park,” said Rivera. “We literally had to rush people out [during tours].”

With the momentum picked up from the Maker Faire, Apt. 84 has big plans for its first summer on Long Island.

“We want people to enjoy the skoolie experience, so we started wine tours, paddleboard tours,” said Ovejas.

The owners are open to any ideas for using the buses too.

“We’re very creative; we’re entrepreneurs, so we like to inspire people to see new things, see new ways and different possibilities — look what we did with a 2001 school bus,” said Rivera.

To learn more about Apt.84, make sure to listen to the full story on the latest episode Greater Long Island’s The 495 Podcast below. And there are more photos below.

Jose Rivera (left) sitting across from Greater Long Island’s Nick Esposito and Mike White.
An inside shot of Apt. 84.
Apt. 84 parked outside Nicky’s on the Bay in Bay Shore.