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Pamlico County Schools wants to rebuild middle school

BAYBORO, N.C. (WNCT) - Hurricane Florence marks the second time in seven years Pamlico County Middle School has flooded.

School and county leaders are hoping to rebuild the school in a new location.

"I don't want us to be forgotten," physical education teacher and coach April Rose said. "That is what makes me the most nervous is that we are still not in our school."

The middle school students are attending the primary school after the middle school flooded during Florence.

Rose says lack of space is the biggest challenge. 

"I like to call it organized chaos," Rose said. "Right now, we are sharing a school with 150 other kids and we don't have a gym to ourself. Each teacher is teaching out of someone else's classroom. Some teachers are teaching out of carts."

While the middle school is being renovated and expected to reopen next month, the school system wants to build a new middle school outside of the flood zone.

The middle school flooded in both hurricanes Irene and Florence.

"We need a space," Rose said. "We don't need to go and keep getting flooded. It could be next year and we will be in the same situation."

Teachers shared their concerns with Governor Roy Cooper Tuesday morning.

"I was excited, because I wanted him to know and understand what our situation is," Rose said.

Governor Cooper said under state law, it is up to the county to fund school buildings, something he hopes to change.

"A lot of counties like Pamlico, particuarly rural counties in eastern North Carolina, simply do not have the tax base to keep up with their needs at public schools," Cooper said. "That is why I am proposing a $2 million school construction bond to help these counties build more schools and meet the needs.

Rose said the need for Pamlico County Middle School is a fresh start at a new location.

"I do not think it is fair to us or our kids to keep going down the road of repair when we can be new," Rose said.

Governor Cooper traveled to New Bern following his stop in Pamlico County.

Click here for more information on his visit.


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