The Columbia County school board agreed during a Tuesday meeting to start site work for a proposed elementary school on Baker Place Road.
School officials approved a $393,000 expenditure to extend water and sewer lines to the site from the under-construction Grovetown High School.
The extensions are contingent upon successful negotiations on the purchase of property for the school.
In another construction deal, the board approved a $998,000 bid from Thomson Roofing and Metal Co. to replace the roof of Harlem Middle School.
Scheduled to start in June, the repair work likely will take seven to nine months, officials said.
The work will add 15 to 20 years of life to the school, Superintendent Charles Nagle told board members.
More Columbia County pupils will be taught inside a school building instead of a portable classroom next school year, said officials.
"We're going to have a lot more portables available, empty," Nagle said.
With Stallings Island Middle School opening this school year and Grovetown High School opening in August, officials estimated that the school system will use 50 fewer portables.
The board also set classroom space allocations during the meeting.
Schools that might continue to use portables next year include Cedar Ridge, Grovetown, North Harlem, Stevens Creek and South Columbia elementary schools, Grovetown Middle and Lakeside High.
But some teachers at those schools, such as special needs instructors, share classrooms, which will reduce the need for portables, Assistant Superintendent Robert Jarrell said.
School trustees authorized an about $500,000 purchase of new textbooks for high-school math courses.
Rose Carraway, the director of high-school student learning, said the textbooks were needed to conform to state requirements for a new math curriculum.
The new curriculum first was introduced three years ago with then sixth-graders. It started in high school this year with the freshman class and will be introduced next school year in 10th grade, followed by 11th then 12th grades.
The 6,000 textbooks will be in use for at least seven years, Carraway said.
The board also approved textbook purchases for new cosmetology and broadcast video courses for Grovetown High.
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