Northampton school eyed for industry

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 8, 2005

JACKSON – Northampton County’s newest school may open the door for industry.

At the Northampton County Board of Education meeting Monday night, Assistant Superintendent Phil Matthews told the Board there had been an interest in purchasing the current Seaboard-Coates Elementary School.

William Ivy Long has apparently approached the district about buying the property once the students from that school and Jackson-Eastside Elementary are moved to the new school being built between Seaboard and Jackson.

Matthews said Long, who has been heavily involved in trying to revitalize Seaboard, may be interested in placing a business in the school to provide uniforms for the Carolina Crossroads project in Roanoke Rapids.

&uot;He wants local people to have employment and he wants a partnership with the school system so students can be trained to work there,&uot; Matthews said.

The presentation was made so the Board could declare the Seaboard-Coates Elementary School surplus property as of the date of the receipt of occupancy for the new school.

Matthews said the surplus would be only the cafeteria/classroom building and the administrative/classroom building.

Board Attorney Rod Malone said he didn’t think the Board should take any action to declare the property surplus.

&uot;I think in light of what we discussed earlier, you should table this and make it part of your overall school closure program,&uot; he said.

Board member Charles Tyner asked how long it would take to bring the matter back to the Board.

&uot;I think we can have the next steps for you and the next meeting,&uot; Malone said.

Tyner asked for a total timetable and was told 60 days.

Dr. Kathi Gibson, superintendent of the district, said the district was simply trying to make a &uot;step of good faith&uot; for the potential buyer, but the felt Long would be okay.

&uot;There is another school involved,&uot; Board member Roland Whitted said. &uot;We need to know what we’re doing with Jackson-Eastside at the same time.&uot;

The Board said it intended to address the situation again during the January, 2006 meeting.