Camden County school district receives grant

Published 6:09 am Wednesday, November 27, 2019

North Carolina Superintendent Mark Johnson announced that $73 million in grant funds from the Needs-Based Public School Capital Fund will be awarded this year to school districts in Camden, Graham, Hertford, Northampton, Rutherford and Wilson counties. The grant awards will allow for construction of new school buildings in these economically distressed areas.

The award to Camden County is $10 million to build a new Camden County High School that will also house Camden Early College High School. Total project cost is $33.3 million.

“On behalf of the Camden County Schools Board of Education and our students, staff and community, we are grateful for this grant funding that will allow us to move forward with our planning for a replacement high school that will serve many generations of Camden County families well into the future. Thank you to Mr. Johnson and others for making this opportunity available,” said Joe Ferrell, superintendent Camden County Schools.

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The Public School Capital Fund was created by the General Assembly to assist school districts in lower-wealth counties through revenue from the North Carolina Education Lottery. Awards are capped at $15 million per project in Tier 1 (most distressed) counties and $10 million per project in Tier 2 counties. The law requires a local match of $1 for every $3 in grant funds in Tier 1 and $1 for every $1 in Tier 2. The fund was created to assist lower-wealth counties with their critical public school building capital needs.

County applications were reviewed based on priorities provided in the law, including ability to generate revenue, high debt-to-tax revenue ratio and the extent to which a project will address critical deficiencies in adequately serving the current and future student population.

An emphasis was placed on projects that were far enough along in the planning process that construction could begin within 12 months.

Over the last three years, the Needs-Based Public School Capital Fund has awarded a total of $242 million dollars to local school districts, resulting in 22 new schools or buildings and the replacement of 32 schools.