Early college planning underway

Published 11:58 am Monday, April 15, 2024

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Dare County and interested parties are moving rapidly toward building a Dare County Early College on the new College of The Albemarle campus in Manteo.

The building is currently planned to be around 28,000 square feet in two stories. At its maximum, the early college will have 350 Dare County students.

The first meeting of the county’s Capital Improvements Planning Committee to consider the design and campus placement for the early college was held April 10, 2024. A second meeting is set for this Tuesday, April 16, 2024 at 10:30 a.m. in Room 168 of the Dare County Administration Building, located at 954 Marshal C. Collins Dr. in Manteo.

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Participating in that initial meeting were representatives from five entities, including:

Dare County Planning Committee: commissioner and Chairman of the Board Robert L. Woodard, Vice Chairman of the Board Wally Overman, commissioner Rob Ross, Elizabeth Reilly, county manager Robert L. Outten. Also attending was commissioner Bea Basnight. Staffers attending were Dustin Peele and Carter Mahn, Dare County’s internal auditor.

Dare County Schools: Board of Education Chairman David Twiddy, Superintendent Steve Basnight, director of secondary education Denise Fallon, facilities director Ian Adams.

College of The Albemarle: Jim Davidson.

Town of Manteo: Mayor Sherry Wickstrom, commissioner Tod Clissold, town manager Melissa Dickerson.

Oakley Collier Architects, the project’s selected architectural firm: Tim Oakley, Ann Collier, Dave Griffin, Franki Joyner and John Hamm.

The established timeline calls for the first class for Dare County Early College to start in the fall of 2025 in a refurbished existing building on Twiford Road and open the new facility in the fall of 2026.

Outten told the group that $21 million of the estimated $25 million needed for the project will come from lottery funds and the remainder from state sales tax revenue. Both sources must be used for schools.

Programming space estimates call for 17 classrooms, three spaces for a media center, a commons and kitchen, nine offices, storage, conference room, four spaces for guidance, three spaces for staff support, three spaces for fitness center, general storage and custodian.

Dare County Schools and College of The Albemarle need to consult on what spaces can be shared.