Public hearing scheduled for closure of two schools

By: Katelin Gandee - Staff writer

LAURINBURG —With the ground broken at the site of the new elementary school, the Scotland County Board of Education will be holding a public hearing for those in the public to express their views on the closure of two schools.

The regular monthly meeting will be held Monday at the A.B. Gibson Center, with a public hearing for I. Ellis Johnson Ellis Johnson Elementary School at 5 p.m. and South Scotland Elementary School at 5:30 p.m.

The regular monthly meeting will begin at 6 p.m.

The public is invited to both the public hearing and the board meeting, which also has a public comment period to discuss other school-related topics.

The closure of I. Ellis Johnson Ellis Johnson and South Scotland is the final phase of the school consolidation plan that has been in the process for the last four years.

The consolidation process began with the change of Sycamore Lane Middle School into an elementary school and the closures of Pate-Gardner Elementary School and Washington Park with the relocation of the students to the newly changed elementary school for the 2016-17 school year. Students at Sycamore Lane were transferred to the two existing middle schools in the county.

For phase two, which is still in progress, the board closed North Laurinburg Elementary School and moved the students to Laurel Hill Elementary, which moved in additions to accommodate the new students at the start of the school year. Sycamore Lane Elementary also added additions to the building to accommodate students with the closure of Covington Street Elementary, but the additions weren’t completed before the start of the school year. That means Covington Street students will move during the 2019-20 school year.

The Board of Education gave a unanimous vote to close the schools in May 2017.

Phase three, which is the final stage, is the consolidation of I. Ellis Johnson and South Scotland into one new school. The school will be built on Old Johns Road and will be ready for the 2020-21 school year. The 114,000-square-foot project will cost $22.42 million and is being built by FBI Construction out of Florence.

The county commissioners unanimously voted to go through with the project earlier this year and the project was approved by the North Carolina Local Government Commission.

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]