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$10 million grant to renovate Newton-Conover High School

$10 million grant to renovate Newton-Conover High School

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A $10 million grant was awarded to renovate Newton-Conover High School and replace the school’s main building.

The total project is estimated to cost about $20.8 million, according to a press release from Newton-Conover City Schools. The N.C. Department of Public Instruction needs-based grant will cover $10 million. The rest will come from Catawba County. The Catawba County Board of Commissioners approved the money in December. Some of the funding will come from other planned renovations at the school that were abandoned.

The main focus of the construction will be to replace the school’s main building which was built in 1964. About 85 percent of the high school’s classes are held in the two-story main building, but it no longer serves the students well, Superintendent Aron Gabriel said at a previous county meeting. The classrooms are small and oddly configured. They don’t work for the more flexible styles of learning the school is using today, he said.

Five school districts were chosen by the state for a needs-based grant this year, according to a press release from the state.

“This is a true game-changer for this high school and for our municipal partners in the cities of Newton and Conover, as well,” Gabriel said in the press release. “I am excited that the innovation that is taking place inside the academic wing will in the future be housed inside a building that will reflect that same innovation. In a year that has been short on hope and optimism, this notification is a sign that there is indeed hope and that brighter days are in store in the coming years if we will stay the course and keep our focus on students."

In accepting the grant, Catawba County is removed from five years of funding from the N.C. Education Lottery, a loss of about $8 million.

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