Planning for new schools, hiring new principals and testing success are several priorities for Bryan County Schools in 2013.
According to Bryan County Schools Superintendent Dr. Paul Brooksher, the board is in the preliminary planning stages for two new elementary schools in Bryan County — a K-5 school in South Bryan and a replacement school for Bryan County Elementary School in North Bryan.
Marianne Smith joined returning board members Dennis Seger, Amy Murphy and Joe Pecenka at a swearing-in ceremony Friday in Richmond Hill. The board then began the process for planning the new schools Saturday when an interview session with several architecture firms was held.
Another interview session with construction managers is scheduled for this Saturday.
“The board is very passionate and very interested in getting these projects started, and for good reason,” Brooksher said. “We’re going to need additional buildings in Bryan County for growth.”
But even though the interview process has begun and the board will likely do a lot of planning in the coming year, Brooksher estimated the projects are still a few years from being complete.
He said the new schools will in part be funded by state dollars, which means all plans for the construction projects must be approved at the state level.
Brooksher said a hurdle the county may face in the future due to the K-5 school in South Bryan is the need to draw school district lines.
“One of the challenges of the future with the building of the first K-5 elementary school in Bryan County schools is going to require that we district,” he said. “We’ve never districted, (or) never set up attendance lines, so the K-5 elementary in Bryan County requires us to district and draw attendance lines, and that can be a very emotional topic.”
He said while it won’t happen any time soon, the central office staff and board are working on a process now to help ease into that transition.
Brooksher added he brought a K-5 school for North Bryan to the board for “food for thought” instead of a replacement for Bryan Elementary, which consists of grades 3-5. However, the topic will take some consideration, he said.
Read more in the Jan. 9 edition of the News.