New Hanover County Commissioners approve new school funding, talk Plan A announcement

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Some new elementary schools could be on the horizon in New Hanover County following a decision by county commissioners.

For the first time in several years, the Board of Commissioners and the Board of Education held a joint meeting on Wednesday at the New Hanover County Government Center.

“I feel it was very productive,” said Commission Chair Julia Olson-Boseman. “We haven’t been together in years, and just to have everyone sit down and basically agree that we need to work together for the best interest of our students.”

“To be able to sit at a table and have a conversation about a joint vision and moving in one direction with a unified feel, it’s important,” said Board of Education Chair Stefanie Adams.

After hearing presentations from Superintendent Dr. Charles Foust on innovation, and Assistant Superintendent Eddie Anderson on school facilities, the meeting ended with a surprise vote.

Commissioners voted 4-1 approving the district to use the remaining funds from the 2014 education bond to plan for new school construction, nearly $890,000.

That includes plans for a new Riverlights Elementary School, replacing Pine Valley Elementary School, and renovating Mary C. Williams Elementary School.

“I had no idea we’d be making a motion quite frankly, I just thought we’d be hearing a presentation but I’m glad that we had the votes to move forward,” Olson-Boseman said.

That motion also allows funding for repairs to Bellamy Elementary School’s roof.

Following the meeting, both Olson-Boseman Adams addressed Governor Roy Cooper’s announcement earlier in the day that middle and high schools will be allowed to transition to Plan A, full-time in-person learning.

‘We need our kids back in school, and I think if the commissioners could vote on it, we’d have middle school and high school back next week,” Olson-Boseman said.

“We have not had an opportunity to review the document yet,” Adams said. “We do have an interim meeting next week, and I expect that it will be on our agenda for Tuesday.”

A time for that interim meeting has not yet been confirmed.

You can watch the full joint meeting here.

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