Millions needed for Bertie schools

Published 10:48 am Wednesday, January 12, 2011

WINDSOR – There were no surprises in the Facility Needs Assessment for Bertie County Schools.

The document, presented Monday to the Bertie County Commissioners by Superintendent of Schools Dr. William Crawford, showed the need for a new high school and other repairs and additions throughout the district.

The needs assessment is required by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction on a regular cycle and must be approved by the county commissioners. Despite the needed stamp of approval, the board does not have to commit any monetary support.

“We are required to present this to you and seek your endorsement,” Dr. Crawford said. “Signing it does not obligate the board of commissioners to provide funds; it simply says you have seen the assessment.”

In addition to assessing the need for a new high school at approximately $24.9 million, the survey indicates the need for additions at the Bertie Early College High School in the neighborhood of $7 million. There is an additional $90,000 in needs for additions to Windsor Elementary School.

In the next five years, the survey indicates the need for renovations at all current schools. They include Bertie Academy ($110,865), Bertie Early College ($293,130), Aulander Elementary ($381,330), West Bertie Elementary ($343,425), Colerain Elementary ($25,650), Windsor Elementary ($8,550) and Bertie School of Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics ($11,400).

There will also be a need for furniture and equipment at all schools except Bertie Academy and the STEM School.

In addition to those needs categorized in the next five years, the report suggests renovations will be necessary at Colerain Elementary and Windsor Elementary in six to 10 years.

The renovations at Colerain are estimated at $274,127 and those at Windsor are expected to cost $380,864.

Commissioner Norman M. Cherry Sr. said he had reviewed the document and asked about the cost estimate for the new high school.

Dr. Crawford said that cost was based on a formula pre-determined by the Department of Public Instruction.

“The state gives us a formula,” he said. “It doesn’t mean the cost will be $24 million, it is just their formula.”

After the discussion, Cherry made a motion to accept the report and authorize Board Chairman L.C. Hoggard III to sign it with Commissioner Charles Smith offering a second. It passed without objection.