Construction to begin soon on new elementary school

By: Katelin Gandee - Staff writer

LAURINBURG — The construction of a new elementary school moved one step closer Monday when the Board of Education unanimously approved the contract for its, and officials expect that dirt will be turned within the first few weeks of October.

A groundbreaking ceremony will be held on Monday, Oct. 1, at 5 p.m. with construction scheduled to begin the second week of October. Completion for the school is estimated to be around March 2020, though the dates are subject to change.

The $22.42 million school is being paid for by limited obligation bonds and will be handled by FBI Construction out of Florence, S.C.

The consolidation will put the students of I. Ellis Johnson Elementary and South Scotland Elementary in a 114,000-square-foot-school on Old John’s Road. The bond approval for the school was approved by the North Carolina Local Government Commission in early August.

A hearing on the closing of the two schools will be held before the next Board of Education meeting on Oct. 8.

Executive Director of Auxiliary Services Larry Obeda also gave a report on the construction updates of Laurel Hill Elementary and Sycamore Lane Elementary.

At Sycamore Lane, two of the three buildings have lights installed while the third is currently being worked on. Sheetrock has also been hung in all of the buildings as well.

“According to the contractor, everything is set to be in place within the next two weeks,” Obeda said. “They’re on target to be done with the entire site by Oct. 31.”

Laurel Hill has all of the classrooms completed but the gym is still being worked on. Currently, the gym has the flooring being cut out and the foundation for the volleyball poles are being installed. The top area has also been dried in to allow the heat and air to be installed without the issue of air coming in.

“Their goal is to make sure that the new addition is done by the end of October …,” Obeda said. “That’s including a complete wrapup of everything — the gym is the only piece now and, when they get done with the gym, they should start clearing out the back area.”

Superintendent Ron Hargrave also told the board they are currently working with the fire marshal for Laurel Hill because the new section has different strobe lights than the original building. At first, the fire marshal said they had to be changed out but, as of the meeting, the fire marshal said he would check some regulations and the lights might not have to be redone.

If the strobe light system does have to be redone, it could cost the schools an additional $25,000 to $27,000.

In other business:

— The board approved accepting a grant from the Scotland Memorial Foundation to supply an ambulance donated to the CTE program. The ambulance will be a classroom for students in the EMT program.

— The accountability scores were gone over briefly but a more in-depth look with more information will be provided at the Committee of the Whole meeting.

— Cory Satterfield, assistant superintendent of human resources, presented the findings of the 10th day of school which is the day schools look at the enrollment for kindergarten through 12. Currently, in Scotland County Schools there are 5,578 students enrolled, the schools are 163 short of students the state predicted.

Katelin Gandee

Staff writer

Reach Katelin Gandee at 910-506-3171 or at [email protected]

Reach Katelin Gandee at 910-506-3171 or at [email protected]