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Lost their way, State Port Pilot

State Port Pilot, 07.26.23

During my service on the Brunswick County Planning Board (2006-2011), it was proudly mentioned that Brunswick County was the 14th fastest-growing county in the nation. The board, along with commissioners, approved the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) that provided guidelines for approving numerous subdivisions and appropriate services – roads, utilities, and schools. The anticipated growth led to the passage of a $150 million school bond in 2016 that would expand classroom capacity at existing schools and build new school facilities.

You can imagine my shock when a student noted recently in local media that the $23 million allotted for building a new Early College High School facility had been diverted to a classroom expansion at another high school and upgrades to athletic facilities. The response from an official is that the project has been postponed! Is this the way to treat the teachers, students, and staff of a school that has been recognized nationally for academic excellence?

The Brunswick County Boards of Commissioners and Education seem to have lost their way in dealing with the tremendous growth in student population. Since the boards rejected my recommendations or resolutions on funding resources (American Rescue Plan Act and Leandro Case), it is suggested that board members contact their counterparts in a nearby county for guidance.

The following information appeared in a regional newspaper on July 22: “The decision by commissioners was made official last week when the Local Government Commission (LGC) approved $178 million for a general obligation bond, following an OK from voters in 2022. To help provide more classroom space and upgrade facilities throughout [the] county, the money will be dispersed in three rounds in 2025, 2027, and 2028.”

The students, teachers, and citizens in Brunswick County deserve this type of planning by their leaders.

William Flythe



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