Column Caldwell County school board to be congratulated
“If you dream it, you can do it.”
The author of this quote was Walt Disney, an ingenious man who had a flair for dreaming big and creating the most iconic entertainment industry of the past century. But his quote could well apply to the Caldwell County Board of Education.
For at least the past decade the school board and top administrators have been dreaming of a new middle school in Lenoir. They’ve saved money, developed plans, made presentations to the Caldwell County Board of Commissioners, school staff and the public. Board members and school personnel have changed, but the vision and the dream have been constant.
And now the dream will become a reality, and in two years students will enter the new middle school. The building will be larger, with easier access and safety features. The $14.5 million price tag will include the latest in technology and larger, upgraded science facilities. The building will house 600 students in a comfortable environment and will be built with the ability to expand to 750 students. Students who want to attend the middle school will now have the option instead of being turned away as they are at the current facility because it is too small.
Building alongside Hibriten High School will provide some economies, including possibly sharing some athletic fields and an auditorium. It may even provide some students at the middle school the opportunity to attend some classes at the high school. Plans are still being developed for all of the above, but the possibilities are endless.
It will have an economic impact because schools, including the buildings, are important when individuals and companies make decisions about relocating or expanding in an area.
It will come without a tax increase. Instead some monies have been saved, and the remainder will come from the state via the lottery and sales tax funds that are allocated for school building construction.
It will save maintenance money on a building that has been well-cared for but is still old.
It will open the door for other construction projects in the county because once the top priority in the school system is built and paid for then we can look at other needs, like Granite Falls Middle School.
A big kudos to the school board for retaining their vision and to the board of commissioners for finally saying yes because the real winners will be our children.