School board discusses $284 million bond - WECT, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

School board discusses $284 million bond

NEW HANVOER COUNTY, NC (WECT) – New Hanover County school board members are moving forward with the request process to repair millions of dollars worth of repairs across the school system.

According to Bill Hance, the assistant. superintendent of operations, a 2010 facility need survey revealed there are $390,000,000 worth of identified needs.

During a work session Tuesday afternoon, school officials began the process of drawing up a bond referendum proposal to finance county schools in need of maintenance.

Part of their bond proposal includes major renovations within the county including the re-construction of two elementary schools in the county.

School officials identified that College Park Elementary and Blair Elementary are in need of expansion and re-construction.

The proposed plan would include the construction of a brand new "temporary location" in the northern part of the county (exact location unknown at this time).

If the plan is approved, College Park students would attend classes at the new school while the College Park site is rebuilt.  

Once construction at College Park is complete, Those students would move back to their own school and Blair Elementary students would then move into the new school while Their site is repaired.

"Everyone wants a new school," said Dr. Markley.  "What we're trying to do is improve the schools we have."

Part of the bond proposal also includes a plan to accommodate the overcrowding issues at Wrightsville Beach Elementary.

The proposal also includes various renovations to other schools too and minor improvements like maintenance of HVAC units, roofing repairs, and asbestos abatement to various locations across the county.

Superintendent Dr. Markley says "the schools need this bond for capital funding to help maintain school facilities."  He added, "this is a good time to ask the county for a bond referendum because the county debt level is low right now.  So now is the time to ask."

Bond money can only be used for capital improvements, not operational needs.

During the work session, Markley did not ask the board to take any action. Instead, it will be on the January 8 agenda. That's when school leaders are expected to formally submit a bond proposal of $284,464,982. That number could change before then because of adjustments.

If the school board approves the bond, members would then submit the proposal to county commissioners for their consideration. 

Only a few weeks ago, reported that some school board members met with a consultant who worked to pass previous bond referendums in the county.

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