The Lafayette Parish School Board on Wednesday approved the purchase of $10 million in bonds by IberiaBank, taking another step closer to buying new buses and having the money to pay for a new high school.

The bond money will be used to purchase 128 buses, which is expected to save the district about $1.1 million annually compared to continuing to lease the vehicles, Chief Financial Officer Billy Guidry has said.

The sale of the bonds also will fund school construction and other improvements.

Last month, the board voted to build a new high school on property it owns in Youngsville. An architect for the project could be selected in August. As part of the selection process, three firms will be interviewed and visits will be made to projects designed by the architects who are being considered for the job. A recommendation on a firm for the job could come to the board as soon as its Aug. 5 meeting.

Board members have been told that it could take about three years from the design phase to the end of construction.

The board approved the bond purchase in a 7-0 vote. Board member Dawn Morris was absent and board member Justin Centanni recused himself from the vote because he’s employed by IberiaBank.

The board conducted its business in less than an hour since few action items were on Wednesday’s agenda. The board recently changed the format of its meetings, and the first meeting of the month is reserved for the majority of action items with the second meeting of the month scheduled for informational reports, introduction items and time-sensitive action items.

Follow Marsha Sills on Twitter, @Marsha_Sills.