Bryan County Schools is conducting a survey to gather public input on closing Lanier Primary School and sending students who currently go there to Bryan County Elementary School.
The survey, which will be available through April 14, can be found at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/J9D9LBQ.
“No decision has been made at this point,” Superintendent Paul Brooksher said. “We just want to gather feedback on what is best for the school system long-term.”
LPS, which is 36 years old, houses 479 students in Pre-K through second grade. BCES opened in 2015 and has 488 students in grades 3-5. BCES was built in the same configuration with the ability to expand to the size of McAllister Elementary School, a PreK through fifth grade building with 1,028 students.
District officials estimate it would save $750,000 to $1 million annually if Lanier Primary and Bryan County Elementary schools were consolidated. Projections show it would cost about $3.5 million to expand BCES, although closing Lanier would net the district about $1 million in state funding.
“That savings comes from the operational costs,” Brooksher said. “The cost of utilities and things like that, plus staffing costs. You wouldn’t need two principals, for example.”
Information in the survey says no employees would lose their jobs as a result of the consolidation, and that any reduction in staff would occur over time through attrition.
About $1.5 million in renovations and upgrades planned this summer at LPS — including floor coverings, lighting and paint — could be canceled, meaning that money could be allocated toward new construction at BCES.
“Bryan County Elementary was built with the same footprint as McAllister,” Brooksher said. “The building pads are there, so it would just be a matter of running the plumbing and wiring and building walls.”
Voters last month approved a renewal of the E-SPLOST, which brings in about $5 million a year for the district, as well as a $100 million bond. The bulk of that money will go toward building a new high school in South Bryan County that is expected to cost about $85 million.
The district projects adding an additional 3,500 students over the next decade, with all but about 200 of that growth coming in South Bryan.