Schools tour planned

Published 8:55 am Tuesday, October 25, 2011

WINDSOR – The process of building a new Bertie High School will include site visits to two other facilities.

On Wednesday, the Bertie County Board of Commissioners and Bertie County Board of Education will jointly tour two high schools. They’ll make a trip to Wendell to tour Corinth Holders High School and then travel to Clinton High School.

“These are two high schools the commissioners wanted to take a look at,” Bertie County Manager Zee Lamb said. “They may visit additional schools at a later time.”

The Bertie County Commissioners are taking the lead in building the new high school using approximately $18 million in Quality School Construction Bonds that will allow the facility to be financed at zero interest for 15 to 20 years.

Since beginning discussions about replacing the aging facility on U.S. 13 near Windsor, the board has interviewed seven architects and heard first-hand about their previous work. None of those seven have been eliminated thus far.

The board members have said on multiple occasions they wanted to tour high schools that could be used as prototypes for the new BHS before committing to any architect.

“They wanted to actually visit the schools and not just see them on paper,” Lamb said. “The board members felt like a first-hand view of schools actually constructed by the architects would help them in the decision-making process.”

One or more commissioners actually expressed interest in visiting the two schools that were originally chosen, according to Lamb.

Barring unforeseen circumstances, Lamb said he expects all five commissioners to attend Wednesday. The Bertie County Board of Education expects three members to be part of the tour. They are Board Chair Gloria Lee and members Alton Parker and Emma Johnson.

Lamb and Bertie County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Debbie Harris-Rollins are also expected to be part of the group.

Both boards have called special meetings for the trip in compliance with the open meetings law. The boards will call their meetings to order before leaving and then adjourn upon their return.

The new Bertie High School will be constructed for 900 students initially with classroom space for 700. There will be room for expansion built into the design of the facility.

The school will likely be built across U.S. 13 in front of the current high school. All outdoor athletic facilities will initially remain in their current place, but a new gymnasium is expected to be built at the new school.