CARTERET COUNTY, N.C. (WNCT)–A solution for overcrowding and concerns about security at one school in Carteret County were met today. We first told you about an expansion project at White Oak Elementary this summer. Today school officials gathered for a ribbon cutting of the new 14-classroom wing.
The improvements created more space for the 800 student school, as well as increased security.
“We had small kids like Kindergartners and 1st graders going back and forth on a breezeway throughout the day,” Superintendent Mat Bottoms said. “Now we’ve enclosed that and our students are really inside of the building all day, except for recess.”
The $3 million expansion opened today after more than a year of construction. Teachers and students say the improvements are like night and day compared to what they’re used to.
“We had to use umbrellas under our old walkway so it’s really nice to be able to stay inside and not have to carry coats everywhere we go,” Mary Ellington, a 4th-grade teacher, said. “Students don’t lose their coats as often.”
The rooms are bigger with special features that students say they like.
“It’s double the size of most and it’s a lot nicer and we have cubbies,” Ivan Verrico, a fifth grader, said. “We have places to put our backpacks and we have cabinets to put all of our stuff in.”
The improvements to the classrooms also include technology. There’s a TV on every whiteboard for projections and wiring to expand wireless access.
“It’s very much state of the art at this time and we are very proud of that part of it,” Bottoms said.
Students are able to use their 1:1 laptops in the classrooms and take them home as well to finish school work. The project was completed on time and on budget.