Community focus group announced for facilities plan input
by Valerie Newton Special to the Journal
ELIZABETHTOWN – Buildings and facilities that are as much as 90 years old was the catalyst which prompted the Bladen County Board of Education to request that Supt. Robert Taylor commission a master facilities plan.
Now, an ad-hoc community focus group has convened to begin the process of developing the plan.
The Superintendent’s 21st Century Facilities Planning Committee is comprised of community members, representatives from community agencies, school personnel, district office personnel, and elected officials. The group has been tasked with developing a plan of action in regards to addressing facility needs both currently and in the near future. Taylor has asked the committee to look at census data, school programs, current condition of buildings, economic impact, and financial impact that existing facilities have on Bladen County.
He also asked the group to determine what, if any, new facilities and programs should be considered for the school system.
Subcommittee members, comprised of the large group committee, will be collecting information regarding transportation, funding, environmental impact, student population, birth rates, construction cost, population location, school location, program offerings and expansions, and technology.
“The Board and I feel the best way to develop this plan is to engage the community in outlining how we use our facilities including the existing condition of our buildings and what areas of instruction will best prepare our students to be college and career ready. We want business and industry, parents, students, and anyone interested in the future of our children and school system to be a part of the process,” said Taylor.
The committee is expected to work much of this school year, meeting monthly, gathering information to determine the learning environments and facilities needed to support them. Once the plan is complete, Taylor will make a recommendation based on the final results to the Board of Education and the county commissioners as to what will best support the educational needs and requirements of Bladen County students.
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