New school planned on North Carolina island hit by Dorian

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OCRACOKE, N.C. (AP) — A new school is set to be built on a North Carolina barrier island that was hit by a hurricane last year, leaving the former building heavily damaged.

Hurricane Dorian struck the Outer Banks’ Ocracoke Island in September 2019, sending more than 5 feet (1.5 meters) of water into some areas, and flooding the only school building on the island, news outlets have reported.

A $9.5 million structure, sitting more than 7 feet (2 meters) above sea level, is now set to be built as a replacement, The Virginian Pilot reported over the weekend.

Hyde County Schools superintendent Steve Basnight said officials decided to rebuild the school rather than just repair the damage after estimates totaled millions of dollars.

State and federal money will help fund the project, the newspaper said. A school furniture manufacturer also announced it planned to donate desks, chairs, bookcases, and other equipment.

About 1,000 residents live in a small community at the south end of the island, and about 175 K-12 students attended classes in the old building, according to the newspaper.

Those students are taking classes online.

The new school is expected to be completed in fall 2022, officials said.

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