Construction on the new Moore County Elementary Schools are progressing, but budget concerns have arisen over the new Pinehurst Elementary School and were addressed during the Moore County Board of Education meeting Monday.

Last year, Moore County voters approved a $103 million bond to build three new elementary schools. This was in addition to the new McDeeds Creek Elementary School which was funded via traditional financing and is scheduled to open for the upcoming school year.

The school board received four bids to build the Pinehurst School. The apparent low bidder, Thomas Construction out of Wilmington, bid $31.7 million, which was almost $3 million over budget.

“We have gone through this process on the other three schools, and all the budget savings were incorporated in this budget, but this is a new contractor with different sub-contractors and design team, so we are looking for additional savings,” said Moore County Schools Director of Operations John Birath.

The Pinehurst budget does have a $945,000 contingency build in the budget, but according to Birath, they have to be careful using this.

“Unlike the other sites, this has existing structures that will need to be demolished, and there is the possibility of running into unforeseen problems in installing utilities and foundations,” said Birath. It is planned that a budget proposal will be presented to the board in September.

Pinehurst Elementary students will be utilizing a temporary school for the upcoming school year while the old school is demolished. The school office will open August 14, with a walk-through of the school scheduled for August 16. The new school (which is twice the size of the current school) will be constructed on the existing site.

The McDeeds Creek Elementary School is in the final phase of construction and is stocking the building. The school office will open August 14 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony scheduled for August 22 at 10 am.

~Written by Sandhills Sentinel Local News/Government Reporter Chris Prentice.           Sandhills_Sentinel
Contact him at or (910) 639-9303.

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