Groundbreaking held for new Jones County school

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JONES COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) - What started as a vision is now becoming a reality for one Eastern Carolina school district as they held a groundbreaking ceremony for a new facility that will help students for years to come.

Jones County Superintendent Michael Bracy says this is a vision that's been 30 years in the making.

They broke ground Friday for a new school that will serve elementary, middle, and high school students.

The new school is just over 120,000 square feet and will have 59 classrooms.

In addition, there will be a state-of-the-art gymnasium for all grade levels and collaborative learning spaces.

County commissioners and school board members came together to celebrate the start of construction.

Jones Senior High School is more 65 years old and school leaders say its time for a change.

"So the new building, of course, we are going to have bigger classrooms, and hopefully flexible seating, flexible where chairs move and desks move so we can be creative in education," says Principal Michael White.

Some groundwork began late last year. The name of the new facility has not yet been decided.

The school board says the goal is to have students in the new facility by fall of 2019.

Jones County Assistant Superintendent Otis Smallwood says the cost of the building is around $40 million and has been funded through state appropriations, grants, and loan money.