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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) – Today in his newsletter email, New Hanover County Commissioner Jason Barfield outlined some of the specific concerns he has about the way the School Board is spending money.

He wrote his concern stems from “an empty Pre-K Center, an elementary school that sits vacant on Princess Place Dr, and a new roof for a middle school slated to close….”

Barfield would like the state to give county commissioners the ability to govern how the school board spends money, just like the state is able to do he says.

We asked Superintendent Dr. Tim Markley to tell us more about these buildings and help us understand what the chairman may be concerned about.

In his blog earlier this week he said, “The current rules already allow the Commissioners to pick which capital or building projects it wishes to fund. In the past three years, they have chosen due to budget concerns, to fund none except those from voter approved bonds. The county schools have been excellent stewards of this money. The capitol projects have come in under budget and on time.” (http://www.nhcs.net/wordpress/timmarkley)

He also referred us to the district’s Vacant Building Summary, which says this about two of the three campuses:

NHCS Prek (Chesterbrook) – 4905 South College Rd. – School Years Vacant: 2010-2011
The NHCS PreK (Chesterbrook) facility was purchased by the school system in April 2006. The building was used for the 2006-2007 school year to house the kindergarten program from Parsley Elementary School to help alleviate overcrowding at the school. The kindergarten program returned to Parsley the following school year. The Pre-K program at Blount was relocated to this site for SY 2007-2008 and was renamed the NHCS Pre-K Center. As a cost savings measure, the NHCS PreK was moved to Johnson (Elementary) at the start of SY 2010-2011.

Blount PreK – 3702 Princess Place Dr. – School Years Vacant: 2009 – 2010, 2010 – 2011
The Pre-K program at Blount was relocated to the NHCS Pre-K Center (Chesterbrook) facility for SY 2006-2007. This allowed Blount to be used as a ‘swing site’ for renovation projects included in the 2005 Bond. Forest Hills Elementary was housed at Blount for the 2007-2008 school year, and Winter Park Elementary was housed there for the 2008-2009 school year. The building has remained vacant since then.

Comment on this Story

  • Guest

    Barfield is not happy with the last election. He has a problem when the majority of voters dont agree with him. Yet when only 13000 folks said yes to a sales tax increase he was fine with it. Barfield was fine with using taxpayer money to give to Louise MCcoll so they all could go party during the gravely visit. OK- so now he wants to take on the republican school board. His agenda would appear to be give it a try and see how folks react. he did that with taxpayer money for the arts- but backed off so he doesnt have to answer for really supporting it. Same with schools–good for them for not backing off. Heck if he ran the schools like he runs the County–my goodness what a disaster that would be for all of us

  • Anne Hirchak

    If Jonathon Barfield is so concerned why didn’t he run for school board instead of county commissioner? C’mon, give me a break. We elected the school board to represent us on education policy, not Jonathon Barfield!

  • Guest

    Barfield is becoming even worse of a commissioner than his father if that is even possible. Barfield obviously has no clue about what the Board of Education is doing. The Board is actually listening to the people that elected them. Barfield doesn’t know his head from his butt and he has a big butt!!!

  • guesty

    Barfield also has a big head. I bet he easily confuses the two.


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