Monday, 02 October 2017 13:04

Weldon seeks funds for study of high school repairs, construction

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Weldon City Schools officials will report back to Halifax County commissioners after the school board determines how it wants to fund a study which could lead to renovations or construction of a new high school.

Superintendent Anitra Wells appeared before the board today with a renovation study funding request.

Few improvements have been made to the 54-year-old school, Wells told the board and the school system is faced with increased repair costs.

Weldon High School, which serves 204 students, has been second on a list for repairs or new construction behind Manning Elementary, which is currently under construction, County Manager Tony Brown said. That list hasn’t been reviewed since the decision was made to move forward with construction of the new Manning school.

Commissioner Rives Manning suggested it might be time for a new survey of school facilities considering the age of the current document.

The county has not budgeted funds for the study in its current fiscal year plan, Brown said. There is the option to use state lottery money to fund the study, the one the school system wants to go with costing $38,000.

The school system has $236,553 in lottery funds available, Finance Director Mary Duncan told the board.

“I remember when the long-range plan was put together,” Commissioner Marcelle Smith said. “Weldon High School was next in line. I knew there were concerns at the high school. What do we need to do to help Weldon students be college ready?”

The school system wants to go with Raleigh-based Davis Kane Architects, Wells said.

The company, in a July 21 letter to County Attorney Glynn Rollins, stated its goal would be to determine whether the school should be renovated or a new building should be constructed on a new or existing site.

In determining the options, one of the deciding factors would be coming up with probable costs as well as determining program needs compared with the needs to state Department of Public Instruction standards.

Commissioner Patrick Qualls suggested the school system go back to its board and then come back to commissioners. “I don’t have a problem with the study.”

The next board of commissioners meeting is October 16 at 5:30 p.m. at the Historic Courthouse in Halifax.

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