Construction projects wind down at Carteret County schools as students gear up for the new year

CARTERET COUNTY, N.C. (WNCT)–As students are gearing up to head back to the classroom, construction projects at various Carteret County schools are winding down.

One of those is an expansion to White Oak Elementary. The $3 million project started nine months ago and is wrapping up with crews finishing roof supports and electrical wiring.

“We have a few growing pains in Carteret County Schools and White Oak Elementary is one of those schools,” Superintendent Mat Bottoms said. “We built onto it just a few years ago. Now we find ourselves building onto it again.”

Superintendent Bottoms says the western part of the county’s school population is growing rapidly thanks to the influx of military families and the proximity of the beach.

The new update will come with 14 classrooms and a breezeway connecting the old front part of the school to the back. The school’s principal, Terri Brett, says the additional classrooms will alleviate overcrowding issues at the growing elementary school.

“We’ve had some spaces that students were taught in that were less than desirable,” Brett said. “But now, our 4th and 5th graders will be in the same building. Everything is going to be connected. We won’t have children in mobile units anymore.”

Most importantly the hallway adds an extra safety factor. Students will no longer have to go outside to reach the back part of the school. They will also now be protected from the elements.

Other projects currently underway include internet access points for the 1:1 Program, where all students will receive laptops, as well as the installation of modular units at Croatan High School.

School officials say they hope to be finished with the updates to White Oak Elementary shortly after school starts back next month.

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