‘Most of them are nearly falling down’: High school facilities a future priority for Stanly County Board of Education

During Tuesday night’s meeting of the Stanly County Board of Education, board member Dr. Rufus Lefler, who sits on the board’s facilities committee, reported on items discussed at the committee’s Aug. 30 meeting, which centered on the physical condition of the county’s four high schools.

“Most of the high schools were built in 1962,” Lefler stated, “and most of them are nearly falling down.”

Lefler went on to state that the meeting included extensive discussion on needed repairs at the facilities.

He also noted that meetings with the Stanly County commissioners are planned over the next several months “so we can give them our long-term plan for the high schools.”

“Now, there are not labs or CTE (Career and Technical Education) offerings at all schools,” Lefler added, noting that the committee planned to address facility needs at the high schools initially.

“We would work down from there to the middle and elementary schools,” he said.

Lefler also noted that long-term plans will once again explore high school consolidation.

“We are going to look at plans for two high schools, and possibly one high school,” Lefler announced, adding, “this would be 10 to 15 years down the road.”

“This is just to look at for now,” he reiterated, “because we don’t have the funds to do it now.”

Funds from the North Carolina Education Lottery have been requested for additions at East Albemarle Elementary, West Stanly High and Endy Elementary, and are likely to be appropriated during the current funding cycle, Lefler added.

“One of these projects will probably be funded,” he said.

Lefler also noted that the committee would seek a “generalized architectural design for a modern high school,” to use as a planning aid.

“We aren’t going to get something specific for our county yet,” he said, “but we can get something that will show us what a new high school, one with all the bells and whistles, would have.”

Returning to the subject of upcoming meetings, Lefler said, “we need to just sit down with the county commissioners and tell them our plans and see what direction we need to go to make things the best they can be.”