Nash awarded $10M for new elementary school

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NASHVILLE — Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools will receive $10 million in state lottery funding to build a new elementary school in northern Nash County, state and local officials said Monday.

The money will pay for roughly half of the new $20 million school and is part of a $141 million grant from the Needs-Based Public School Capital Fund that will be divided between a dozen of the state’s 100 counties.

State Superintendent Mark Johnson announced the fund allocations. Nash County applied for the grant, which was designated for construction of new school buildings in Tier 1 and Tier 2 low-wealth counties. Nash County is in Tier 2, making it eligible for a $10 million grant award. More economically disadvantaged Tier 1 counties can receive up to $15 million.

Nash-Rocky Mount Superintendent Sheldon Jeffries said the school system “has been engaged in a yearlong public dialogue about the needs specific to our oldest buildings. These facilities are costly to maintain and are not aligned with 21st-century student needs.”

“I wish to thank Superintendent Johnson and the General Assembly for providing this support to NRMPS,” Jeffries said in a prepared statement. “Also, I appreciate the collaborative spirit demonstrated by our Board of Education and Nash County commissioners.”

Jeffries recognized school board Chairwoman Ann Edge and Commissioner Robbie Davis by name. Davis, he wrote, “has been instrumental as an advocate and in ensuring that we drafted a competitive proposal for consideration.”

The N.C. General Assembly earmarked a portion of North Carolina Education Lottery revenue to create the capital fund.

“Through these grants, we will help address our state’s need to replace old, outdated schools with better learning environments,” Johnson said in a statement. “This is the second year these funds have been made available to benefit our students and educators who have had to deal with outdated facilities.”