The Bryan County Schools Board of Education approved a $70 million budget for fiscal year 2018 at its meeting Thursday night. That is about $4 million higher than the current budget.
The new budget does not, however, include money for construction of a new Richmond Hill High School that is projected to be finished by 2021. That money will come from $100 million in bonds that voters approved in February.
Superintendent Paul Brooksher said the bonds will be sold in two phases once the plans and timeline are complete. Administrators are currently discussing what features the new school will have, including everything from a fine arts auditorium to a pool.
The district already has a memorandum of understanding with Rayonier to help locate a suitable 100-acre parcel for the new high school.
Brooksher added that the new budget does not include a millage rate increase.
The board also approved several new spending measures, including $152,000 a year for three years to lease 51 copiers for use districtwide and $131,000 to renovate restrooms at the Richmond Hill Community Education Center. The district will spend another $78,000 to purchase a new bus and nearly $38,000 for cafeteria equipment at three schools.
The board also honored 16 retirees with a cumulative total of more than 400 years of service to the district.
“You can get rid of the books and the buildings, but not the people,” Brooksher said. “We are a people-driven business and we have some of the best on the plant.”