News from the Board -- April 9, 2024

Posted by Jessica Wells on 4/12/2024 9:10:00 AM

 

The Onslow County Board of Education held its regular monthly meeting on April 9 at the Eastern North Carolina Regional Skills Center. Agenda items included awards of contract for several construction projects, redistricting for Woodland Elementary School, and a donation of land to Onslow County. Board member Louis Rogers was absent.  

After a Good News Spotlight, which highlighted the accomplishments of our students, and a public comment period with 1 speaker, the meeting’s general business was discussed.  

Dr. Brendan Gartner presented to the Board a series of construction projects for which the district had recently received bids and asked for approval of contractors.  

The first project was the installation of a building generator at Jacksonville Commons Middle School. This project received three bids from Cost Effective Maintenance, Inc., JL Britt, Inc., and Triple-R Electric, Inc. Triple-R Electric was identified as the lowest responsive, responsible bidder with a bid of $1,790,000. The Board awarded Triple-R the contract unanimously. 

Next, Dr. Gartner presented a need for architectural/engineering services to design an additional bus parking area at Jacksonville High School. In 2022, land adjacent to JHS was purchased to alleviate the school’s parking shortage, and now the district needs a firm to design that area. Four Requests for Qualifications were received from Becker Morgan Group, REI Engineers, Smith Sinnett Architecture, and Timmons Group. Timmons Group was determined to be the most qualified firm for this project. The Board approved them unanimously.  

The next project was for the enclosure of the breezeway connecting the administrative and core academic buildings at White Oak High School. The project is part of ongoing security upgrades, and the district is in need of a firm to design the enclosure. Smith Sinnett was the only firm to submit an RFQ. The Board unanimously approved the project to move forward with Smith Sinnett.  

The final project discussed was the replacement of an exterior staircase that serves as a secondary exit at New Bridge Middle School. Smith Sinnett was the only firm to submit an RFQ. The Board unanimously approved Smith Sinnett to design the project.  

With a new elementary school set to open its doors in 2025, there is a need to redistrict some of our existing elementary schools. Woodland Elementary is set to open for the 2025-2026 school year, and redistricting will affect four existing schools: Morton Elementary, Queens Creek Elementary, Silverdale Elementary, and Swansboro Elementary.  

Redistricting decisions are made after the following issues are taken into consideration: school capacity, student population growth trends, instructional programming, transportation efficiency and student travel times, geography, maintaining cohesive neighborhoods, and feeder school patterns.  

Dr. Gartner shared with the Board the proposed new attendance zones for Woodland Elementary, Morton, Queens Creek, Silverdale, and Swansboro Elementary. Redistricting would address overcrowding and make better use of facilities at all four of the affected, existing schools.  

The Board approved staff to move forward in the redistricting process by gathering community and parent feedback.  

The following meetings have been scheduled to gather feedback: 

  • April 22 at 6 p.m.: Queens Creek Elementary 
  • April 23 at 6 p.m.: Swansboro Elementary
  • April 24 at 6 p.m.: Morton Elementary
  • April 25 at 6 p.m.: Silverdale Elementary 

Feedback can also be submitted via email to WESredistricting@onslow.k12.nc.us.  

Last on the agenda was a donation of land to Onslow County. The Board of Commissioners has determined the Bear Creek Volunteer Fire Department’s fire station is in need of replacement. A 3-acre plot of land on the grounds of Sand Ridge Elementary School has been identified as suitable for the fire station’s needs. The construction of such a fire station would not interrupt the daily operations of Sand Ridge Elementary School.  

The Board unanimously approved the donation.  

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