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Friday, February 21, 2020  |  Permalink

County Commissioners Approve Funding for School Land Purchase

The Harnett County Board of Commissioners has approved a request from the Harnett County Board of Education to purchase land for a new elementary school and a future middle school in northwest Harnett County.

The Board of Education submitted a request to the Board of Commissioners to use $2.2 million from the Public School Building Capital Fund to purchase three tracts in northwest Harnett County for future schools.

Harnett County Schools plans to construct a new elementary school on a 40-acre tract at 736 Rollins Road, near the Wake County line.

Additionally, the Board of Education asked commissioners for funding to purchase two tracts at Christian Light Road and Oakridge River Road totally just over 70 acres for a future middle school in northwest Harnett County.

The Board of Commissioners agreed in June 2019 to allocate $51.5 million from the $100 million school bond approved by the county’s voters in 2014 for a new Erwin Elementary School and a new elementary school in northwest Harnett County. The two schools were listed as the top priorities by the Board of Education.

Harnett County Schools is currently demolishing the former Erwin Elementary School. Based on the school system’s timeline, Harnett County is preparing to go to the Local Government Commission in May for approval to finance construction of the new Erwin Elementary School. The County is prepared to go to the Local Government Commission in August for approval to finance construction of the new Northwest Harnett Elementary School.

County officials are preparing for tremendous growth in northwest Harnett County, where nearly 4,500 proposed lots are currently under review by Development Services. The department completed the Northwest Area Plan in 2019 to assist the County in preparing for the approaching growth.

During the Board of Commissioners’ annual Planning Retreat on February 11, 2020, Davenport & Company, the County’s financial planner, presented an analysis of the County’s debt affordability, which showed that the County could afford to build the two new schools with no impact to the County’s property tax rate, which has been a priority for the Board of Commissioners. The Board also began the process of planning to fund future school projects.

 
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