School plan studied

Published 8:52 am Monday, May 20, 2013

JACKSON – The Northampton County Board of Education is studying school restructuring.

Over the past two weeks the board has discussed and agreed to measures related to school restructuring, specifically Willis Hare Elementary and Seaboard Coates (where Northampton Alternative is held).

In their regular meeting on Monday, May 6, the board agreed in a 4-3 vote to, according to meeting minutes, β€œto move forward with the statutory process, which could result in the restructuring of schools to optimize the educational programs for our students; to include the Five-Year Facility Plan presentation amended with the Willis Hare School and Seaboard Coates Study for May 14, 2013 and two hearings for May 21, 2013 and May 29, 2013, with a board formal vote on June 3, 2013.”

The motion was made by Vice Chair Erica Smith-Ingram and seconded by Majorie Edwards.

The measure passed with opposition coming from Donald Johnson, Phil Matthews and Rhonda Taylor.

On Tuesday, the school board met in a special called meeting and by consensus directed Northampton County Schools Superintendent Dr. Eric Bracy to conduct a feasibility study on school facilities as well as the amendment to the facilities plan in 2009.

In 2009, the board was presented with eight recommended options from the Facilities Task Force and an independent architectural firm, MBAJ Architecture.

Each of the eight options suggested the closure of at least two schools or more and consolidation for others. Garysburg Elementary, Rich Square Creecy and the Alternative School were closed in 2009. The former Northampton County High School-West and Northampton County High School-East were merged on the campus of East this school year.