Sunset Park Elementary School Undergoes Renovations

Reported by Claire Simms - bio|email
Posted by Theresa Swenson - email

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - Sunset Park Elementary School is under construction and several New Hanover County school board members say much needed repairs are being neglected.

From the outside, the school looks as if it's getting an upgrade, but the facility is not getting high marks from some school board members.

They say the building is not only unsightly, but may be unsafe as well.  Unpainted walls and exposed wires are visible throughout the construction area.

"We all know that the squeaky wheel gets the grease," says Redenbaugh, board member.  "And this may be a case where there's not that squeaky wheel getting the grease for Sunset Park."

Redenbaugh fears the school isn't getting the attention it needs because it is largely made up of disadvantaged students and families who she says may not know they can ask for repairs.

Redenbaugh and fellow board member, Nick Rhodes, are asking the school to fix the repairs.

Rhodes submitted an email stating:  "I am somewhat appalled at the condition of Sunset Park compared to the other schools we visited."

Assistant Superintendent Bill Hance says the exposed wires are telephone wires and not high voltage wires.  He says the problems will be fixed at the time the renovation work is complete; however Redenbaugh believes, in the meantime, it is sending a very negative message to students and staff.

"To the administrators and the students that see that on a daily basis, it sends such a poor message to them that we don't care enough about them to give them a school that looks nice, an environment that encourages them to learn and to grow and is a good place to work and learn," says Redenbaugh.

Hance says the renovation work should be completed by September 30.

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