The Bryan County Board of Education is moving forward with plans for new elementary schools in the north and south ends of the county.
During its regular meeting Thursday at Lanier Primary School, the BoE unanimously approved an agreement with civil engineers Thomas and Hutton for surveying, drainage plans, wetlands determination and more regarding the two new school sites.
“We’re building two new schools and the architect uses Thomas and Hutton as their civil engineer,” Board Chairman Eddie Warren said Friday morning. “What we did was (we) went outside of that contract (with the architect) and contracted with Thomas and Hutton ourselves, which in turn saves the school board money.”
Warren said there is a separate contract with Thomas and Hutton for each school, but the total for the two is around $350,000. He added the contract with Thomas and Hutton is a “not to exceed” contract, meaning if the projects cost less than expected, the board will save money.
Additionally, Warren said Thomas and Hutton will provide landscape design services free of charge as part of the agreement. That alone would have cost more than $20,000 for both sites, he said.
The board also approved to enter into an agreement with the Bryan County Board of Commissioners for the construction of a new well that will service the South Bryan school site, Warren said.
“We’re trying to combine the resources of the public entity — which is the East Buckhead development — the county and school board all going together to complete the project versus each one of us doing our own project,” Warren said. “Had we put our own well in, it would have cost us $600,000. By doing all together, the school board probably saved $300,000 to $350,000.”
Warren noted once the school connects to the sewer system that runs to the wastewater treatment facility at WaterWays Township, the board will have to pay a separate sewer tap fee.
While Warren said he did not know when actual construction may begin on either school, he did say plans are already being drawn for both.
“We’re using the same building design so both schools will look exactly the same. But the one on the north end will be smaller because it will only be built for 600 students, while the one on south will be for 1,000 students,” he said.
The North Bryan elementary school is expected to be completed by March 2015, Warren said, while the South Bryan elementary school is expected to be complete by May 2015.
In other business:
• Kristi Cox with United Way was on hand to present some prizes for the board and schools’ participation in the annual United Way campaign. She awarded the “Caring Cup” to Crystal Morales, principal of Carver Elementary, for the school raising $2,300 during the campaign, the most money raised of all schools in the county.
• The board approved $1,600 in donations to Carver Elementary from DonorsChoose to help fund various activities.
• A donation of 150 tickets from the Atlanta Braves Reach Out program for fifth graders at Bryan County Elementary to attend a ballgame was approved.
• A donation of a previously used Rifton Prone Stander from Jason and Ashley Boland to Richmond Hill Primary School’s special education department was approved.
* A donation from the RHPS PTSO for $4,222 was approved to help fund field trips.