According to Superintendent Tim Cochran, the Decatur County Board of Education recently purchased 169 acres of land on Highway 84 East, next to Bainbridge High School. The land, which borders the current BHS property and extends in an “L” shape to the south and west to Alday Road was sold to the BOE for $900,000 (a little more than $5300 per acre).
Cochran stated that the property offers the Board an opportunity to eventually construct a new middle school next to the existing High School, consolidating operations and offering a significant reduction on transportation and facility costs. Superintendent Cochran stated, “This acquisition was for future expansion. We don’t have any definite plans right now. But when your neighbor’s property comes up for sale, it’s obviously something you’re going to be interested in. This is just a part of our long range planning.”
Cochran said that the purchase of the property was made possible because of recent facility cost savings and the availability of SPLOST funds. According to Cochran, no general fund money was used to buy the land, meaning the purchase was made entirely with sales tax dollars.
“I’m very plan oriented, I’m always looking 3-5-10 years down the road” stated Cochran. “We’re looking long range.”
Cochran also referenced the need to make facility improvements at the current Bainbridge Middle School (formerly Bainbridge High School) and said that renovations to that building just didn’t make sense financially. If the Board saw the need to build a new school, the property next to the existing Bainbridge High School was more secure than a location in the middle of town and would offer greater cohesion between the Middle and High Schools.
As of this time, there is no official plan to build a middle school next to Bainbridge High School. “We’re still years down the road before we get to that point” said Cochran.