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School board, commission discuss millions in bond money for school repairs


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- The New Hanover County School Board and County Commission met this afternoon to talk about a number of issues, including the current condition of some county schools.

Commissioners and board members discussed what it will take to fix aging schools, including the possibility of hundreds of millions of dollars in bond money.

Today's meeting was held at College Park Elementary School. It's what's called a Title I school, which means it has a large number of low-income students, and it needs renovations.

This afternoon members of the school board and county commissioners took a tour of College Park. This school was built in the early 1960s.

Principal Maria Greene says the school lacks simple functions like bathrooms in the cafeteria. She says on days when it rains the plumbing in the school is affected because of all of the roots that have penetrated the system over the years.

County commissioners say they know something needs to be done.

"I know that the need is there," Commissioner Jonathan Barfield said. "Our goal is to really find out how can we meet the need of our school system and the need of the students here, as well and to find a way to find the resources as well to do just that."

One of the resources Barfield is talking about is a bond referendum. That would put the cost of the work in the hands of the voters.

Commissioners and school board members talked about the possibility of a bond between $240 and $280 million for school constructions.

There is no concrete timeline for getting it in front of voters.

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