School board likely to shut Virgo Middle School’s doors


NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — The future of D.C. Virgo Middle School is up in the air. It’s only been a few months since the New Hanover County School System came to an agreement about middle school redistricting, but now it’s considering making yet another change that could affect faculty, parents and most importantly the students.

Many parents say this is round two of the New Hanover County middle school redistricting saga. According to school board member Elizabeth Redenbaugh, Superintendent Tim Markley is recommending that Virgo Middle School close it’s doors.

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“Now that they got everybody to where they redistricted them they want to get ready to switch it again,” said Walnetta Pierce, who has two kids at Virgo.

With the school board facing significant budget cuts Redenbaugh says some board members feel it doesn’t make sense to keep the school open for the 180 students that call Virgo home but that could soon change.

“I mean I don’t have any problems going to Holly Shelter because a lot of my friends go there,” said Monjai Everett, who is a student at Virgo. “It’s a better school with a lot more things for me to do. Probably a lot more better stuff so I guess it will be good going there.”

While a new school could provide new opportunities for some students parent’s fear it would jeopardize their involvement in their child’s education.

“Any school that’s far or like 45 minutes away like Holly Shelter or any school that’s not close or more than 30 minutes away would be an inconvenience for me to participate and be an active parent in their schooling,” said Pierce.

New Hanover County just finished redistricting their middle schools. Redenbaugh says majority of the middle schools are at their capacity or have exceeded it. If the board votes to shut Virgo down Redenbaugh says students would most likely end up in Williston or Holly Shelter.

Currently there’s 60 seats open at Williston and close to 400 available at Holly Shelter, but Virgo students are concerned that a new school could mean bigger classes and less individual instruction.

“If I go to Holly Shelter it’ll probably be 20 people there and I’ll get distracted a lot and I’ll probably be off task with a lot of things,” said Virgo student Koraun Thompson.

Many Virgo students spoke highly of their teachers and say they wish this wasn’t a consideration by the board. Redenbaugh says Markley will present his recommendation at the next meeting and then board members will discuss it and vote on it. She says with these tight budget constraints and availability at the two middle schools the writing’s on the wall.

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