Brunswick County Schools balances construction and COVID

Brunswick County Schools continues construction during pandemic

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - Construction continues on the $152 million bond project taking place at Brunswick County Schools. The project is currently in its second phase, which is expected to be completed by July of this year.

Dr. Jerry L. Oates, superintendent of Brunswick County Schools, gave an update on how the project is going as the pandemic surges through southeastern North Carolina.

Keeping COVID out

“Right now everything is on target for completion,” said Oates, “COVID, fortunately, has not affected any of the bond projects that we have on the table.”

Phase two of the project includes the addition of 12 new classrooms and expanded cafeterias at both North and West Brunswick high schools, as well as updated JROTC rifle ranges and other additions to clubs and athletics.

Despite the pandemic and ongoing construction, many students are still attending classes in person. Around each Brunswick county school campus, safety remains paramount.

“We limit any unnecessary visitors inside the building, so for the most part the construction takes place on the construction site,” Oates said.

Oates also says he believes the safety precautions taking place inside the school are likely to stick around when the new rooms are open and when the pandemic is over.

Growth and expansion

Part of the reason for the expansion is the expected growth in the district. While West Brunswick High School is currently the largest school in the county, Oates expects North Brunswick to become the new largest school in the coming years. He knows the expansion needs to continue as more people move to Brunswick county.

“Any time that we can increase the spacing in our schools to accommodate the growth that is happening, that is one of the most important things,” said Oates, “We want to make sure that we have safe schools, and being able to have room to move around is one of those components of making sure schools are safe.”

The continued growth of the district is exemplified by the addition of Town Creek Middle School, which opened last year as part of the bond project. Above all, however, Oates wants to make sure that everyone in the district feels safe.

“We just wanna make sure of safety all around,” added Oates, “Whether its violence, whether it’s the pandemic, it’s something we keep in the forefront of our minds while being able to provide good instruction to our students.”

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