Robeson County School Board discusses design for potential new school

State - Regional

LUMBERTON, NC (WTW) – The Robeson County School Board discussed a design for a new school at Tuesday’s meeting.

The new school would be a replacement for West Lumberton Elementary School, which was destroyed during Hurricane Matthew.

Robeson County School Board Chair, Peggy Wilkins-Chavis, said nothing is set in stone.

“We do have plans to build a school, approximately for twelve-hundred children, it can be less and it would be two stories, but these are just proposals,” the School Board Chair said.

Project Manager with sfL+a Architects, Chad Cronin, presented a design to the school board for the new West Lumberton school.

Cronin said the school design resembles St. James Intermediate School in Horry County.

“There’s a collaboration area, the classrooms are all glass-front, and the teachers could actually allow some of the children out in the collaboration areas,” he said.

Cronin said the school would also have a library, media center, and gymnasium that shared a space with a stage for an auditorium.

The school would be 200,000 square feet and would house kindergarten through eighth grade.

Lumberton resident, Lora Kay Oxendine-Taylor, immediately spoke to the board after Cronin gave his presentation.

“I did not like that at all, and I think once it gets into this region, if it gets into this region, it just will not work, it will not work,” she said.

Oxendine-Taylor said she went to a school that had a similar design. She said she feels the learning style would not be successful.

“You can’t do cubicle teaching, you’ve got teachers that are talking over each other, you’ve got students questioning each other,” she said. “My suggestion is to get two or three other plans in place, as well as to protect the school systems, historically.”

Wilkins-Chavis said the board will continue to look at different designs for the new school.

Oxendine-Taylor said she wants the board to use its funds for Robeson County’s current schools.

“Money should go into these school systems,” she said. “Let’s look at preservation instead of building or a new building. Let’s look at preservation”

The next Robeson County School Board meeting is March 13.

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