The Bulloch Board of Education voted unanimously last week during its regular meeting to purchase seven 72-passenger school buses and two buses for Special Education. Each 72-passenger bus costs $77,768, and the Special Ed buses cost $78,890 each . All of the buses will be air conditioned.
To stay on schedule with state-recommended bus purchases, the school system needs to purchase nine buses per year. This purchase keeps the fleet at the same level, but does nothing to alleviate a deficit of 19 buses. The system is behind schedule because of past budget decisions.
Charles Wilson, assistant superintendent of Business and Finance, said that the average age of buses in Bulloch County is between 13 and 15 years. The older buses were kept in service longer largely due to good maintenance.
In other business, during the superintendent’s comments, Dr. Lewis Holloway said that 51 students transferred from private schools to the public school system this year.
In a brief construction update, Craig Buckley, architect with James W. Buckley and Associates, expressed his appreciation to faculty, staff and parents for the smooth start to the school year.
He said that Southeast Bulloch High School is about 120 days away from completion. The auditorium will be completed in the next one to two weeks. The gym floor will be finished by Labor Day, and the finishing touches on the front of the building and parking circle are in progress.
Nevils Elementary should be completely occupied and in use by next Tuesday, Buckley said. The kitchen, which was approved by the fire marshal earlier, will be inspected by the Health Department at 2 p.m. on Monday. Temperature controls in the kitchen, cafeteria and classrooms should be finished by Tuesday with the gym air-conditioned and in use by Tuesday, as well.
The Womack Field concession area at Statesboro High is almost complete and will be ready for the first home game on Sept. 14. The metal roof is the biggest job to be completed. Once the roof is in place, the utilities can be connected, lights installed and painting can be done. The Board will advise Blue Devil fans about traffic and parking in at the stadium closer to game day.
Also, the Board approved several field trips and fund-raising events. In discussion of the field trips, Mike Herndon asked that the Board of Education be listed as additional insured with any charter bus companies or other organizations the Board deals with on these trips for additional protection from lawsuits.
No one requested to speak during the public participation portion of the meeting.