36 Onslow County Schools return to full-use after Hurricane Florence

Jacksonville

Onslow County School officials have been hard at work this summer repairing several schools for the upcoming school year.

It’s much needed after several buildings faced widespread damage due to Hurricane Florence. The school district saw about $40 million in damage. The amount is a lot less than what they initially expected.

Northwoods Park Middle School suffered approximately $1 million in damage. The roof at the school came crashing down in the middle of the school’s hallway.

Northwoods Park Middle School’s hallway after Hurricane Florence.

Principal Angela Garland said as a result of the storm, 6 classrooms, locker rooms, a bathroom, and the gym was closed off to students.

“We had a couple of teachers who had to share some space but everyone had space,” said Garland.

But fast forward to the end of summer 2019. The Dolphins are one of 36 schools considered at full-use. Classrooms, gyms, and facilities have reopened since the storm.

Chief operating officer for OCS Steve Myers said new lighting, ceiling, and insulation were installed along with redoing some floors.

“Maintenance Department worked hour after hour, worked day after day, seven days a week at times, to make sure things were taken care of as quickly as possible,” said Myers.

Myers is sticking with his initial projection of 12-18 months for the district to return to the same state as they were before Florence.

“Or hopefully we’ll be done by December. Everything will be back to its normal condition,” said Myers.

White Oak High School and Southwest High School won’t be completely open this upcoming school year. The science wing at White Oak and the gym at Southwest are still under renovations.

Traditional schools in Onslow County will begin on August 26.

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