PLYMOUTH, N.C. (WNCT) – The demolition process for Pines Elementary School in Plymouth begins next week. It will make way for the construction of a new consolidated school facility that will teach grades Pre-K through 12.

Washington County Schools Superintendent Dr. Linda Jewell Carr said they are excited about what the new facility will bring to the area.

“The feeling you feel when you’re in a space like this will excite students to learn,” Carr said.

This new facility will hold more than 1,000 students from across the county on its campus. The empty Pines Elementary School was chosen due to its proximity to Highway 64.

After the new school is built, the fates of the old school buildings will vary. Some will be preserved, some repurposed, but others demolished. At the time of this article, Washington County Union Middle School in Roper is among the list of preserved school buildings.

The new state-of-the-art facility will be energy efficient, utilizing geothermal and solar energy technologies.

“Really excited for what it will allow us to do, to spend more money on children, and not just on electricity, heating and cooling, you know? Carr said. “We can really put it back into the classrooms.”

Carr added this consolidated building will help strengthen relationships between the grades, encourage collaboration among students and also give students an idea of what opportunities are available as they advance through school.

“Some of the benefits of having a consolidated campus are the opportunities to collaborate with students as well as staff,” said Dr. Carr.

As for athletics, the new facility will sport two gymnasiums, one for middle and elementary school students and the other for high school students. The high school gymnasium will be able to seat more than 1,000 people and will have the equipment and meet the requirements to be able to host big events.

“We are going to be able to host conference (tournaments). And that is tremendous because never before have we been able to do that,” Carr said.

In regard to funding, Washington County Schools received $50 million in grant funding from North Carolina Lottery Funds and funds approved in cooperation with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and the General Assembly.

Carr said the students deserve to have a school like this one.

“Our students in Washington County, even though we’re a title one, low wealth, tier one county, deserve the same opportunity as those that choose to live in cities. So, we’re just very grateful that folks have remembered our rural people that help make this a great state,” Carr said.

Washington County Schools officials said they hope the actual construction process for the facility will begin this May. They hope to open the school in late 2024.