JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – In Onslow County, officials are working together to address challenges in the community. 

The Board of Commissioners sat down Monday with the Board of Education to discuss ways they can improve. The two boards understand the importance of their greatest resource and hope to meet their needs, the students in Onslow County.

The conjoined meeting discussed issues like improving student health with the Onslow County Health Department.

“The biggest problem right now we’re seeing is the evolution of vaping and all those related supposedly substitutes for smoking kinds of drugs. So we’re looking at that very closely, we have some good information that we need to get out to our schools,” said Chairman of the Onslow County Board of Education, Ken Reddic.

They also reviewed their plans for emergency shelters, which ones need improvements and which can provide for the medically fragile.

“When we build schools, we’re looking at building structures that can withstand those high winds up to 150 miles an hour, we’re looking at putting generators into those buildings,” Reddic added.

The topic of growth was a large part of their discussion with the county growing around 300 new kids a year.

“Onslow County is projected in the next 25 years to have an increase of 70,000-plus residents. So we need to be ready for that,” said Tim Foster, chairman of the Onslow County Board of Commissioners.

They’re expecting new facilities in the future. The two entities also spoke on their hopes to improve school safety, in collaboration with the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office. 

“A security officer coming from within Onslow County and going to be working with the school system in the future to ensure that someone’s always looking at the safety aspect of our schools because that’s the number one priority when you walk on a school campus is school safety,” Foster said.

The schools and commissioners hope to have more meetings like Monday in the future.