At Monday night’s Board of Education meeting, Superintendent Mark Garrett gave an update on Old Fort Elementary’ s new building project.

State Superintendent Mark Johnson announced Monday that McDowell County Schools received a $15 million dollar grant toward the $21.2 million dollar project at Old Fort Elementary.

Now that funds are secured, a timeline for bids has been set.

“Originally we wanted to open bids on Nov. 1 or 8,” said Garrett, “but based on our discussion at the September board meeting, a November 20 target has been set for the bids proceeds to be open.”

According to Garrett, construction documents will be uploaded on October 16. On October 30 a pre-bid meeting is scheduled with contractors at Old Fort Elementary, and bids will open at 2:30 p.m. on November 20.

“Bids will be open for 60 days until January 20, 2019,” said Garrett.

In other business:

-Teacher of the Year Angela Autry spoke to the board about the N.C. Future Teachers program at McDowell High School. Two students from the class presented a power point presentation about what they have learned so far.

--Michael Ireland addressed the board during public comments. “I represent a group called Brothers Like These,” he said. “I am here to encourage those to attend our next presentation reading which will be on Veteran’s Day in Old Fort from 2 to 4 p.m. This is a group of veterans with PTSD. We have been doing presentation readings for the past two years. We work with school children. And we what we found with this experience is a path for healing and reconciliation. We all in the beginning were diagnosed with moderate or severe PTSD. I encourage people if they get a chance to hear what we have to say.”

-Chief Academic Officer Laura Davis spoke to the board about the low performing school list. She said Nebo Elementary is no longer on that list, but East McDowell Middle School is now after the results of the performance grades from the 2017-2018 school year. “As of the last state board meeting, we are now on a deadline of Nov. 5,” said Davis. “At the next work session, we will give details of what the actions are, and at the next board meeting we will ask for approval of those plans. EMMS has been working on this for quite a long time. This is a time when all of our schools work on their school improvement plans. After it is approved it will be submitted to the state.”

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