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BoE acquires land for a new middle school
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The Bryan County Board of Education approved and signed a contract Friday, Dec. 14, for the acquisition of property for a new school that will be located in Terra Pointe.

Rayonier allotted roughly 95 acres of land for one, or perhaps two, schools. School officials acknowledged signing the contract, but said little else about the deal, which they approved at a called meeting in Pembroke.

"The board can discuss the need for new schools," Superintendent Dr. Sallie Brewer said, noting part of their contract states they are limited in discussing the project until more details are worked out.

As of right now, the plans call for a new Richmond Hill middle school.

"One of the things we hoped to fund with SPLOST was a new middle school. We will soon have access to the SPLOST funds and our first priority for building is the new middle school," Brewer said.

Michael Bell is the director of corporate affairs for Rayonier and spokesperson for the project. Bell said Rayonier donated the land to the BoE.

"We have gotten DRI approval and PUD approval for a regional activity center, down at the Belfast-Keller and the I-95 intersection. That is near the site of this proposed middle school," Bell said, noting it will support the community’s growth and could also house a high school before the project is complete.

"Our roots run deep in southeast Georgia and we have long term commitments in this region," he said. "We’re very excited about the future of Bryan County and we think this property is an ideal location for a school campus."

Bell said the site will have room for adequate parking and safe traffic flow and Rayonier looks forward to the county building a state of the art facility.

"We believe a school site is a very important part of a project like this," he added. "We’re very happy to work with the Bryan County school board on this."

A groundbreaking for the site should happen sometime next spring.

In other business:

- The Board of Education has started work on two recreational playing areas in the district, according to a project update from Assistant Superintendent Brad Anderson:

At the RHHS, a total of five drains were installed at the football field this past week. Each line now has the recommended slope to process the water projected to be coming off the field, and sod has been added around the drains to prevent large amounts of dirt from washing into the newly installed drains. Next week, additional sand will be placed in the center of the field to begin work on crowning the football field. This process will have to be repeated several times until next season in an effort to raise the field slightly and to add a gentle slope from the center out to the sides.

There is a new plan for the RHPS playground. Maintenance will begin installing playground equipment in the newly designated play areas early next week. After the equipment has been relocated, sand will be placed around the play equipment during the holiday season. The fencing of the playgrounds at Richmond Hill Primary will take place after all of the playground equipment and sanding has been completed.

- The board approved their 2008 board meeting calendar. The schedule is set for meetings to be held at 6 p.m. every fourth Thursday of the month, except for November and December when meetings are held the third Thursday. Additional called meetings and workshops will be posted on the web site and the Parent Connect site as they are scheduled as well, and can be found at

"Teachers enter grades, assignment information, attendance data, trips to the nurse and all other record keeping aspects of their students on Parent Connect," Brewer explained. "Parents can get a password and log on to get updates on whole picture of what’s going on with their child. We already announce the board meetings in the paper; this is an additional way to let parents know when we’re meeting." She said about 1300 parents currently use it. 

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