Pender County School Board approves funds for some school repairs


BURGAW, NC (WWAY) –┬áPender school leaders met Tuesday to approve funding to make schools fit for students.

Work is ongoing, however, major repairs cannot be done until contracts are in the hands of three contractors responsible for repairs.

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Superintendent Steven Hill tells us that the start back date for Pender County students is solely based on what contractors told school leaders.

Students are not allowed back for a majority of schools until October 18th.

“The hope is that it will come in a little lesser than that just to get into the schools,” Hill said. “That doesn’t count repairs or roofs or window seals, lighting fixtures or ceiling tiles. Just to get into the school. Just to meet the sanitation grade and make sure everyone passes. All the mold and everything else that we’re looking at certifying.”

Currently only two schools in the county have welcomed students back. School officials believe it will cost $12 million dollars to get students back into the other 16 schools that remain closed.

They approved more than $5.5 million dollars to go to repair nine different schools. Those schools range from North Topsail, South Topsail, Topsail Elementary as well as Middle. They also include Cape Fear Middle, Cape Fear Elementary, Rocky Point and Heide Trask.

Work on Topsail High was the most expensive, nearing a million dollars, and was also approved.

Hill says they plan to meet with county and state leaders on funding for the seven other schools in need of repairs.

“That is the biggest piece of recovery that you can have is to open those school doors and get those kids back to a routine and make them feel secure,” Hill said.

Nine different contracts were approved Tuesday. Work will begin on all of those school campuses as soon as Wednesday, but it is unclear how Michael will impact repairs.