Dirt isn’t cheap.
That’s why Bryan County’s school board voted Sept. 27 to use dirt on property it already owns for a new elementary school in South Bryan on Warren Hill Road.
The measure could save taxpayers close to $1 million, Bryan County Schools Superintendent Dr. Paul Brooksher told school board members.
“In our discussions in looking at what the new elementary school is going to cost, we came to the conclusion that we own a lot of dirt right across the street from (the site of the new school, near Richmond Hill Middle School),” Brooksher said. The project will require vast amounts of dirt because the land the new elementary school will be built on is low and will need to be raised about five feet.
“That’s a lot of dirt,” Brooksher said.
To get started on the project, the school system also will harvest and sell the timber on the property – and hire a consultant to oversee the project. That typically costs about 7 percent of the revenue derived from the timber, according to Bill Vickery of Pope Construction.
Vickery serves as the school system’s construction project manager.
School board members also voted to approve the first phase of construction on the new school for no more than $3.8 million.
County voters in 2017 approved the purchase of up to $100 million in bonds to pay for capital projects, and Rayonier donated more than 200 acres for a new elementary school and high school in South Bryan.
Officials say the new elementary school will open in 2020. It’s name hasn’t been decided yet.