Stanly commissioners authorize SCS to accept bids for new Endy classrooms

Published 4:45 pm Tuesday, August 8, 2023

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Stanly County Schools received the go-ahead Monday night from county commissioners regarding the expansion of classroom space at Endy Elementary.

By a vote of 6-1, with Vice Chairman Mike Barbee voting against, commissioners allowed SCS staff to start the bidding process for eight to 10 new classrooms at an overall cost of approximately $4.7 million.

At the work session before the county’s regular meeting, SCS Superintendent Dr. Jarrod Dennis asked commissioners to fund up to $3.7 million for the project, with SCS funding the remaining $1 million. Funding would go for classrooms, hallways and a restroom area.

Dennis said Endy is at “110 percent capacity” and “is looking at substantial growth, and so is Locust.”

Mentioning Locust and Stanfield, Dennis said “significant growth” was expected in both areas, adding it “might take some redistricting of lines to shift some people over.”

Regarding Endy, Dennis said, “we can’t redistrict ourselves out of this.”

In information provided to The Stanly News & Press from SCS, Endy is projected to have 351 students as its Month 2 daily membership this year. By next year, the school is projected to have 377 students, which would be more than 110% of capacity.

Barbee said after the meeting he was against the motion because he wants to see the former Ridgecrest Elementary School reopened. He said he was worried the school’s dual immersion program would go away and that busing children from the western part of the county to Endy “would take forever.”

During the meeting, Barbee said, “it worries me to spend money for classrooms and additions when (the dual immersion program) may be going away.”

School board member Dustin Lisk spoke about redistricting, saying “it has to happen and it needs to come in the greater scheme of long-term.”

Lisk said if the school board were to build two new high schools, it would “solve that problem longer term because it would alleviate some of the elementary schools and create capacity that way.”

He added people “are going to have to vote for it” because “if the forecast is remotely accurate, the intermediate part when water and sewer is done, that’s where you see growth.”

Lisk said SCS “will have to offer people some options inside the public system. We’re in a school choice era where people want to choose.”

Stanly Commission Chairman Scott Efird asked what the time frame for the project would be. Todd Bowers, SCS director of maintenance, said the Endy project could be complete by December 2024.

About Charles Curcio

Charles Curcio has served as the sports editor of the Stanly News & Press for more than 16 years and has written numerous news and feature storeis as well. He was awarded the NCHSAA Tim Stevens Media Representative of the Year and named CNHI Sports Editor of the Year in 2014. He has also won an award from Boone Newspapers, and has won four North Carolina Press Association awards.

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