By Robert Jordan
Dunn Daily Record
Harnett County Schools is seeking a $40 million grant and $25 million in taxpayer funds for a new middle school in the southern part of the county.
At its Feb. 21 meeting, the Board of Education gave Superintendent Dr. Aaron Fleming the go-ahead to proceed with a $40 million grant application from the Needs-based Public School Capital Fund. HCS will request an additional $25 million from Harnett County.
The district received a $10 million grant from the Needs-based Public School Capital fund in 2021 for the new Northwest Harnett Elementary now under construction. The county agreed to forfeit five years of North Carolina Education Lottery funds to get the grant. Available grant amounts have changed since then, according to Fleming.
“Now, it’s $30, $40 or $50 million (and) for a middle school, it’s $40 million,” he said. “We are requesting all $40 million for the Flatwoods Middle School, which is on property that we own between Lillington and Bunnlevel.”
The 1,100-seat school will be located on U.S. Highway 401 with a design template similar to Highland Middle. Construction of the new Flatwoods is anticipated to cost $65 million.
Approved plans for the Dunn area include $9.3 million for a new wing at Harnett Primary School to accommodate the students from Wayne Avenue Elementary. This project will transform the school to a kindergarten through fifth grade academy. The Wayne Avenue site would then undergo approximately $100,000 in renovations and the Early College Program would be moved to that facility from its present location on East Johnson Street in Dunn.
Fleming also reported that he is waiting for Operations Research and Education Laboratory (OREd) to complete the land survey for the proposed Highland High School project.