Panama City-- Higher gas prices are forcing up the costs of school lunches.
Bay County school board members approved a 25 cent price increase for lunches Tuesday during their regular meeting.
Elementary students will now pay $2.25. Middle school and high school students will pay $2.50. Teachers and staff will pay $3.50. Breakfast prices will not change. District staff says the price hike is necessary.
"Prices are being raised throughout. In terms of the commodities we're purchasing in order to make the lunches for the kids. And we cannot continue to basically lose money as a result of paying to purchase foods in order to serve foods," said Executive Director of Operations, Dr. John Haley.
The last lunch price increase was 5 years ago. Breakfasts went up 2 years ago.
Board members also approved renovations at Surfside Middle School. The board hired GAC contractors for the first phase of the project.
That will include renovating the gymnasium, installing new air chillers and buying 28 modular classrooms.
"It was a hair under 2 million is what we're going to spend on that particular phase of it. It's exciting though after months and almost a year now of planning. Now we're finally taking the first step of allocating those funds and approving it to say hey now we're going to go forward with it," said Board Member, Steve Moss.
Work will begin the first day of summer break, and will take a little more than a year. The project is being done in phases, because students will be on-campus during construction.