Observer staff report
Hyde County Schools has been awarded $8.3 million to repair some of its Mattamuskeet facilities.
The award was announced at a special meeting Wednesday morning of the Hyde County commissioners and comes from the $300 million Needs Based Public School Capital Fund (NBPSCF) from the NC Department of Public Instruction, according to a press release from Hyde County Schools.
Hyde was one of nine schools statewide to receive money from this fund, which was established to assist counties with their critical public school building capital needs.
Grants from the NBPSCF are funded with revenue from the N.C. Education Lottery. Grants are available to eligible counties for construction of new school buildings and additions, repairs and renovations of existing school facilities.
Superintendent of Hyde County Schools Dr. Melanie Shaver explained the award to the commissioners, saying that the vision for these funds is to expand the Career and Technical Education Program capabilities in the Mattamuskeet School by creating the Hyde County Industrial Arts Center that will house a diesel shop, a welding shop, agricultural shop and carpentry and maintenance areas.
A food classroom that had not been used since sometime in the 1980s also will be refurbished, Shaver said.
The funds will also be used to replace a roof on the elementary building, work on the athletic facilities, and upgrade HVAC and ensure energy efficiency through lighting and window upgrades.
Because of the age of the buildings, the maintenance costs are high, Shaver said, and energy savings were written into the grant.
Mattamuskeet School, located on 44 acres on Highway 264, consists of buildings from the 1960s with the most recent addition being 2011.
The Needs Based Public School Capital Fund grants are applied for and awarded jointly through collaboration with the county commissioners and boards of education. No local matching funds were required for this grant, Hyde County Manager Kris Noble said.
Ocracoke School was not a part of this grant since the school is being rebuilt with an expected completion date of April, Shaver said.
“Renovations and additions to the Mattamuskeet School will not only restore the facility but add a new chapter to the story of the campus,” said Hyde County Manager Kris Noble.
She said the total grant amount is $8,329,228.
After the announcement at the meeting, Hyde Commissioner Benjamin Simmons III praised the collaboration between the county and the school system.
“This is great news,” he said, “and shows what working together can accomplish.”