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Meetings to discuss new school

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BY AMELIA HARPER
Staff Writer

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools announced today a series of town hall meetings to discuss potential sites for construction of a new elementary school in the school district.

The school board is considering the possible closure of three elementary schools in the area with an eye to consolidating these schools at a new, larger state-of-the-art elementary school that likely will find a home in the Red Oak area. Each of the facility town hall meetings will be held at the schools that will likely be affected by the potential consolidation.

The first meeting will be held at 6 p.m. on Sept. 18 in the media center of Swift Creek Elementary School at 2420 Swift Creek School Road in Whitakers.

Two other meetings will be held in October.

The second meeting will be held at 6 p.m. on Oct. 2 in the media center of Cedar Grove Elementary School at 8967 Cedar Grove Loop Road outside of Nashville.

The final meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Oct. 16 in the media center of Red Oak Elementary School at 5603 Red Oak Road in Red Oak.

The meetings will be held to inform the public about the steps that have been taken so far and the reasons for consideration of the consolidation and new construction. Public input will then be solicited regarding the measures. Nash-Rocky Mount Superintendent Dr. Shelton Jefferies has said on several occasions that he is committed to getting public input before finalizing any decisions.

The meetings follow a series of invitation-only forums held earlier this year to gain input with select community members from each school community.

At a joint meeting of select representatives from the Nash-Rocky Mount Board of Education and the Nash County Board of Commissioners held in July, Brian Miller, chief of staff at Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools, presented board members and commissioners with information received from the earlier forums and likely will be presented or updated at the upcoming forums.

According to information presented at the July meeting, each of the three schools has reached a point in the aging process where repairs and needed upgrades would be too costly to consider. The student population at each of the schools has also dropped in recent years as well, making consolidation an option worth considering, Miller said.

The total number of students attending the three schools last year was about 740. School board members are considering constructing a new facility would likely hold about 800 students.

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