Facelift funds approved

Published 9:07 am Tuesday, February 7, 2012

JACKSON— The Northampton County Board of Education has requested the draw down of Lottery funds in preparation of the consolidation of the county’s two high schools.

On Monday, the Northampton County Board of Commissioners approved the draw down of $250,000 from the Lottery funds to be used for an array of cosmetic repairs to Northampton County High School-East.

“These funds will be used for refurbishing lockers at the newly consolidated High School-East, painting of the interior and exterior of the newly consolidated high school,” said County Manager Wayne Jenkins reading from information provided by school officials.

Jenkins added new door hardware, new carpet in the band and JROTC rooms and the replacement the gym floor and the weight room floor are also on tap in the list of repairs.

Jenkins noted Northampton County Schools Assistant Superintendent Phil Matthews and Finance Director Joe Holloway were in attendance if the commissioners had any questions.

Commissioner Chester Deloatch asked if there were bids put out for the planned work.

Matthews said everything went out for a competitive bid.

In response to County Attorney Charles Vaughan questioning the cost of the total rehabilitation of Northampton East, Jenkins said the work being done was more of a facelift for the building.

“I don’t believe this is any major construction whatsoever,” Jenkins said.

Commissioner Robert Carter moved to approve the draw down of funds. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Virginia Spruill and the measure passed without objection.

In December, the Board of Education voted to merge the two high schools and locate the consolidated high school in the Creeksville precinct beginning next school year (2012-13).

The topic has drawn a lot of criticism from those living on the western end of the county. On Jan. 19, the Board of Education heard from the citizens and parents during a public hearing on the matter. Many who spoke voice concerns about the length of bus rides from west to east, job loss for teachers and how the merger would affect student academic performance.