Brunswick County School Board considers $173M bond


LELAND, NC (WWAY) — Brunswick County’s booming population means the need for more classroom space and more money.

Tuesday, Leland Middle School students moved into a much needed new building.

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Principal Patricia Underwood says they are running out of space.

“The building is full. Every room that we had had become a classroom,” Underwood said. “Rooms that had been conference rooms had to be converted to classrooms because we were so crowded.”

The school is getting some relief now that a new modular building is open.

Eighth grader Monique Johnson says it will be easier to learn in a less crowded classrooms.

“I think it was OK, but now I think it’ll be easier,” Johnson said.

Underwood says the growing school population throughout Brunswick County has created the need for more classroom space.

“Our numbers just continue to grow and grow,” Underwood said.

While the million-dollar structure at Leland Middle was paid for from the school system’s budget, the school board is looking at purchasing bonds to pay for about $173 million in capital needs.

According to a Brunswick County Schools spokeswoman these capital needs are presented to the public to approve funding, which results in a property tax increase for a designated period of years. Voters will have to decide if they want this increase.

If school leaders move forward the voters of Brunswick County will vote on a bond as early as November 2016 due to state law.

Brunswick County voters have not approved a school bond since 1999, and that was for $89 million.

The district says the county gets about $800,000 a year from the North Carolina Education Lottery. This is far from what is needed for the district’s capital needs.