Clear View Elementary School Project
OCS is the 11th largest district in the state of North Carolina with over 27,000 students currently enrolled. The district has 39 educational facilities, including 20 elementary schools, 8 middle schools, 7 high schools, an early college high school, an early childhood development center, an alternative learning program, and the Eastern North Carolina Regional Skills Center. Additionally, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the district opened the Onslow K-12 Virtual School (OVS) providing families with an alternative to in-person learning. On average, our district has increased by 300 plus students per year. To address this ongoing growth, the district makes use of a 10-year construction plan, which gives district staff and the board of education an idea of where the county is heading and ample planning time for how to get there.
Relocation of MARSOC West to our community, combined with increased development in the unincorporated areas of Onslow County, has brought increased population growth in the southern and western parts of the county. Military-associated growth has impacted the Sneads Ferry and Holly Ridge areas, while other development has brought increases to the area between Jacksonville and Richlands along the Highway 24/258 corridor.
To address this growth, the local board of education worked with the county commissioners on funding to build two new elementary schools. These schools were scheduled to be built nearly simultaneously, with Coastal Elementary in the Stump Sound area scheduled to open in fall 2021, and Clear View Elementary, between Jacksonville and Richlands set to open its doors in fall 2022.
In June 2018, three possible architects for the two new schools were presented to the Board. Based on staff recommendations, the Board unanimously decided to move forward with Pinnacle Architecture. Both Coastal Elementary and Clear View Elementary will be built based on a prototype design approved by the Board in the summer of 2018. The new Richlands Elementary School, which opened in the fall of 2018, was also based on this prototype and designed by Pinnacle Architecture.
In December 2018, the Onslow County Board of Education was officially deeded 100 acres of land in the Stump Sound area after purchasing it for $530,000, and the Board was given a donation of 30 acres off of Highway 24/258 in February of 2019.
In the original 10-year plan, the newly named Clear View Elementary was set to open before Coastal Elementary. However, looking at the county’s growth trends, the Board saw that there was an immediate need in the Dixon feeder district to address growth and alleviate overcrowding. The Board and county government decided to move up the timeline on the Coastal Elementary School Project and build both schools at the same time.
Original estimated budgets for the schools came out to around $22,834,692 for Clear View Elementary and about $23,477,610 for Coastal Elementary.
As of February 2021, site work was ongoing at Clear View Elementary. Exterior brick work was continuing, with interior work including wall framing, ceiling installation, and kitchen rough-ins.
At their February 2, 2021 regular meeting, the OCS Board of Education authorized staff to move ahead with timelines and guidelines for redistricting the West Central Elementrary School Project (now Clear View Elementary), and determining that the name of the new school would be decided at the March 2021 BOE Meeting.
The West Central Elementary School (Clear View Elementary) is scheduled to welcome students in August 2022.
In January 2020, the construction for the new elementary school located off Hwy 24/258 began with a scheduled opening date of August 2022. Until a name was selected for the school by the Board of Education, the project and facility have been referred to as the West Central Elementary School Project.
District staff were tasked to present the Board a list of names for the new school with a recommendation for the Board to consider. With this directive, district staff began canvassing school employees and members of the community for recommendations. Of the names considered, the top two that were recommended included: West Central Elementary School and Clear View Elementary School. The recommended names were also reviewed by school administrators for the surrounding elementary schools, local historian Dennis Jones, Onslow County Museum Director Lisa Whitman-Grice, and the donors of the land for the new school, Jeff Brown and Randy Willis.
The general feedback received for the two names included the following:
- West Central Elementary is consistent with the naming of several previous schools based on geographical locations, e.g. Southwest Elementary, but did not have the personalization shared by several of our newer schools.
- Clear View Elementary seemed to be more inviting than West Central Elementary and follows more recent naming conventions being utilized in the district, e.g. Meadow View Elementary.
- Land donors Randy Willis and Jeff Brown also felt that the name Clear View Elementary was better suited for the area and would be an attractive name for future development of the area.
Staff, after reviewing the information provided and receiving additional feedback from long-standing community members, recommended naming the school Clear View Elementary. This name encompasses the scenic views of the campus and meets all requirements in accordance with Board Policy 9300 – Naming Facilities. While staff made a recommendation, naming of a school is an important decision, and the Board has the authority to choose a school name as provided or from other sources as they feel appropriate.
Following brief discussion, the Onslow County Board of Education unanimously selected Clear View Elementary as the name of the new school under construction in the area between Jacksonville and Richlands right off of Highway 24/258.