Front Page: Pender County School Bond On Ballot For November
Pender County school bond for $178 million dollars will be on the ballot this November 8th.
If the bond is approved by the voters, the funds will be used for the following:
1. A new middle school for grades 6-8. Location has not been determined but it will most likely be on the Hwy 210 corridor. This school will be designed for 1200 students.
2. A new elementary school for grades K-5. This school will be designed for 800 students.
3. Topsail Middle School will be renovated and will be for 9th grade students only.
4. Rocky Point Elementary School will have an addition built.
5. Burgaw Middle School will have their cafeteria rebuilt.
6. A Central Services structure will be built.
7. An 8 Bay maintenance building will be constructed.
On the Pender County Schools website it states that the tax rate increase for residents will be between .05 and .11 cents per $100 dollars of assessed tax value. This estimate will most likely change once interest rates are included. Some other groups have estimated that tax increase could be as high as .15 or higher.
An estimated $97,000,000 (97 million dollars) in interest will be generated by this loan and the repayment of that interest will come from the taxpayers.
Citizens have been voicing concerns regarding the lack of adding another high school in the county. Currently there are four high schools, eight elementary schools and five middle schools in Pender County which is 800 square miles in size.
It is estimated that the Pender County School system currently has 10,000 students enrolled and by 2030, it is estimated that the count will increase to 10,788. Based on current levels of construction, that number may be low.
“My children are already in packed classrooms and every day when I drive home I see more and more subdivisions being built. Where are all those kids going to school? I don’t understand.” Mary White is not alone in her frustration.
The proposed bond does not include the operating costs of the new buildings. The proposed construction schedule is stretched over five years, with the schools being constructed first and the Central services building and maintenance bays being constructed at the end.
Interested in more information? The Pender County Schools website has lots of information and the answers to common questions. Be an informed voter and find out all the information you can. www.pender.k12.nc.us/page/bond-referendum
Part of Issue 21: