New Hanover Co. school board could ask voters for $284 million

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Submitted: Wed, 01/09/2013 - 4:07am
Updated: Fri, 10/24/2014 - 3:04pm

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Voters in New Hanover County could face another decision on a bond referendum come November.
This time, it is the county schools that could be asking for as much as $284 million.

“Our growth is up. We are looking at repairs and renovations more so than new construction,” said school board chairman Don Hayes. “Because, you know, look at what’s going on in Wrightsville Beach right now. We’re having to lease space in a church.”

New construction would be part of the measures.

The highest priority on the list is a new 600-student elementary school to serve the northeastern part of the county.

Also on the list are improvements to at least ten middle and elementary schools including:
Noble Middle School
Roland-Grise Middle School
Myrtle Grove Middle School
Trask Middle School
Wrightsville Beach Middle School
Alderman Elementary
Bellamy Elementary
Sunset Park Elementary
Bradley Creek Elementary

“There are many roof replacements that are needed, technology related things that were in there,” said Hayes.

Hayes says the bond is about needs, not wants.

“There’s no fluff there. It’s necessities,” said Hayes.

Even at a time when many voters are skeptical of government spending, Hayes thinks the school board’s record will win over voters.

“We have always, to a letter, done exactly what we said we were going to do. Our projects have always come in on budget or under budget.”

Hayes hopes the past will be a sign of the future.

“We’ve never had a bond that didn’t pass,” said Hayes.

The next step is for the board to finalize its recommendations at a work session at the end of this month.

It will then take part in joint work sessions with the county commission to decide the final number to present to voters.


  • Guest1971 says:

    I hope both of you went to private school (elementary, middle, high & college) that was paid for 100% by your parents.

    Yes, the schools need to be frugal with their money and accountable to the general public but I don’t consider children going to school to be freeloaders.

  • Guest9744 says:

    Or a fine? Fine parents for adding additional burdens on our resources and tax money.

    I’ve never used a dime of government money, there is no reason for these future socialists to receive any benefit from my tax money.

  • jj says:

    I am tried of the Bd of Ed always wanting money to improve schools. School repairs should be done every day and not wait till the school is falling apart.

    I think they should remove all sports from the school system and take this money and use it for education. If kids want to pay sports they should have play out side of school. Paying for education is one thing, but paying for sport is not something that is required.

  • Buccaneer says:

    Has anyone even been to Laney high school lately? If so, have you been to any of the other highschoolsnin the area? How do their facilities compare? The inadequacies in the New Hanover county are very apparent. As a former buccaneer who will be graduating from college very soon, it saddens me to see that not much has changed. Laney high school is probably the most underrated high school in the county. I enjoyed my four years there. The passion that the faculty and staff at this school have is second to none. When I was a student, many times we had to go without. I can’t remember how many times instruction was hindered by an old computer, a lack of books, or a lack of sports equipment. Now that I have a brother participating in sports at Laney, I have had the opportunity to see first-hand the many different sports facilities in the county. These facilities range from weight rooms, locker rooms, and gymnasiums. It is very easy to see where the funding goes. The two “flagship” schools have ample equipment that is relatively new. Te newest school also has very nice equipment. On another note, the buildings where instruction takes place has also been neglected. However, in recent years there has been a lush to clean it up and make it look better. Many improvements have taken place but are hindered. Why? Lack of funding. Any sane person of New Hanover county should vote YES on this bond referendum. Believe it or not, the students that are attending this school now are your future. They will be leading this county, state, and country. If you’re sending your children somewhere for 8+ hours a day to grow into an informed, productive member of society wouldn’t you want it to be as nice as possible? Invest in their future…your future. They’ll remember this one day.

  • Guest 211 says:


  • Tired of paying for freeloaders says:

    These kids should be expected to carry some of the load. There is no reason to indoctrinate them into the world of government handouts.

    Maybe school hours should extend until 5pm and include a mandatory 2 hours of community service (cleaning streets, cleaning their own schools) or even low level manufacturing to pay their own bills.

  • Guest9743 says:

    I agree with the students carrying some of the load but I would take it a step further….how about charging the parents a “user fee” for each child in the school system, that will take some of the tax burden off those that don’t have children in the schools!!

  • ChefnSurf says:

    Kids have a right in our country to a free education. The cost of that education is paid for with taxes from the community. You exercised that right when you were a kid. Now that it’s some other kid’s turn, you’re against that? That’s pretty damn selfish.

    All of the schools listed are elementary or middle schools. That means that all of the students attending them are children. You think that children, let me repeat that, “CHILDREN”, should be forced to clean streets or work in a factory? Just like in the “good old days”? Now that you’re the grownup and have to pay the taxes for the next generation, you no longer think it’s a good idea? Now that you’ve had that opportunity, you now say “screw you!” to the next generation? Again, that’s pretty damn selfish.

    I could possibly be in agreement with you if you we’re talking about cost overruns and unnecessary extravagances, but you weren’t. You’re saying that children should be forced to perform child labor on our streets and in factories. And you think that should happen just so you don’t have to pay forward your obligation to the next generation of kids. Again, that’s pretty damn selfish.

    You are one twisted sorry excuse for a human being.

  • Guest2769 says:

    Bev……….. before you go. Where’s all the lottery proceeds that was supposed to go to the schools?

  • Vog46 says:

    Pat – before you start work promise you won’t take anymore lottery money.

    Of course anyone with half a brain would realize that the lottery was never intended to fund our schools.

    As you can see the vast majority of the money does go to the schools.
    Perdue was wrong to transfer $ into the general fund but the amount was small.
    Anyone who insinuates otherwise needs to go back to school
    The largest part of lottery sales go to?
    The lottery winners – you know the people that play the game?
    Now we could have gone the Georgia(?) route – put all money into a fund for college education ONLY. Supposedly soon Georgians who have resided in the state for “X” number of years will be able to send their kids to state colleges free or at extremely reduced cost. Just remember, those GA counties didn’t get a dime of Lottery monies – EVER.
    In NC it was decided that the Lottery $ would be split among the 100 counties to pay for new building etc……
    I’m not so sure that was the right track to go on but ………

    Bev was NOT the problem.
    Of course we can watch what McCrory does to education……..


  • Don Ward says:

    I’m not so sure throwing millions of taxpayer dollars at schools is the answer.

  • GuestReality says:

    What about the lottery? Isn’t that what the lottery was supposed to be for?

  • taxpayer says:

    be placed on the ballot…this is one taxpayer who will vote “no”. It’s high time the taxpayers of New Hanover County demand an accounting of how our dollars are spent. It seems as if every time the B of E gets a few extra dollars, they add another level of management at the top.

  • Vog46 says:

    So if the B of E provides us with the accounting that shows all monies for construction/renovation, without adding another layer of management will that change your vote?
    Of course one new school requires its own managers (Principles administrators etc).
    The B of E has been pretty good with staying within budgets.
    The fact is that school population is up so something has to give somewhere. Perhaps the answer is larger class sizes? This of course is mandated by the state – the Guv could go a long way to help counties financially by allowing for increased class size.


  • SurfCityTom says:

    have you ever looked at their staffing and payroll?

    The head earns in excess of $300,000.

    Those folks who travel to retail oultets and put up signs and replenish supplies; they each earn over $50,000.

    They even have a couple of attorneys on staff. Not certain why. I always thought the AG was the state’s attorney and could handle any and all agency issues.

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