Caldwell County sets budget for new middle school

Feb. 18, 2014 @ 05:02 PM

The new William Lenoir Middle School is officially an active county project, as the Caldwell County Board of Commissioners approved a project budget ordinance, allocating $14,650,348 to build the new school.

To pay for the school, the county will use $14.5 million in new financing, $100,000 in interest earnings and $50,348 left unspent in the fund balance from completed school capital projects.

In January, the county approved the financing deal with First Citizens Bank, a 15-year deal to be paid off with $1 million a year from sales tax revenue.

The county still needs final approval from the North Carolina Local Government Commission, which is expected to sign off on the deal at its March 4 meeting, said Tony Helton, Caldwell County finance officer. Helton said the commission has already reviewed most of the deal, awaiting some permit documentation.        

The board unanimously adopted the plan, which earmarks $13,942,250 for construction, $408,098 for equipment, $200,000 for furniture and $100,000 for loan fees, though Helton said he expects to spend less on the fees.

The groundbreaking for the new middle school is expected to be in February next to Hibriten High School off Taylorsville Road. It will open in the fall of 2015.

The county also approved a name for the new access road to the middle school from Taylorsville Road: Wildcat Trail.