On a sunny and cool Tuesday morning on Highway 5 across from Pit Link Lane in Aberdeen, local political, educational and community leaders gathered to take the next step in what has been a process that has been anticipated for many years. The school district broke ground Tuesday on the new 114,000 square foot building, projected to cost around $31 million, which will become Aberdeen’s newest school.
Leaders heralded the support of the community, school board, and Moore County Commissioners for making the new school possible. Along with local leaders and representatives of the construction crew and architectural firms, many students from both Aberdeen Elementary and Primary attended, holding banners thanking Moore County for their new school.
The school, which is scheduled for completion in early 2020, will combine Aberdeen Elementary and Aberdeen Primary Schools.
Unlike the existing schools, which date to 1949, the new school will have the latest innovations in technology and school security, according to Moore County School Superintendent Dr. Bob Grimesey. In contrast, the old schools, which has been extensively updated since being constructed, was composed of several separate buildings. The new school will incorporate the recommendations of school security experts. It will including limited and controlled entrances to the campus and also limiting access between the school administration area and classrooms.
Moore County Schools Superintendent Dr. Bob Grimesey.
This groundbreaking is the second of five planned by the Moore County Board of Education and supported by the Moore County Board of Commissioners which recently was able to gain passage of both by bond referendum and a quarter-cent increase in the county sales tax which will be used to pay for the new construction.
During the ceremony, School board Chair Helena Wallin-Miller singled out a group of women whom she referred to as the “Bond Women” who worked to gain support and ultimately passage of the sales tax increase.
All photos courtesy of Moore County Schools.
Upcoming projects include two additional elementary schools and upgrades to all three local high schools, beginning with North Moore.
Incoming School Principal Dante Poole referred to the new building as a “dream come true”, and pledged that he and his staff will live up to the responsibility they have been given. Aberdeen Mayor Robbie Farrell, who is both a retired educator and product of Moore County Schools, called it a great day for Aberdeen and Moore County Schools.
Moore County Commissioner Chairman Catherine Graham related the groundbreaking to the recent success of the NASA’s Insight Spacecraft which recently landed on Mars. When asked about the success of the Mars Landing, Rob Manning, chief engineer at JPL said: “We spend most of our time visualizing all these bad things that can happen, but sometimes things work out in your favor”.
In exactly the same way, according to Graham, “Things have worked out in our favor in getting the approval and funding necessary to meet the needs of Moore County Schools.”
Article and videos by Sandhills Sentinel reporter, Chris Prentice.