State Grant Secures Start of New Granite Falls Middle School Project
The Caldwell County School System is one of twelve school districts statewide awarded a Needs-Based Public School Capital Fund grant totaling $15 million for a new Granite Falls Middle School project estimated at $20 million.
"The Caldwell County Board of Education and the Caldwell County Board of Commissioners have had the replacement of Granite Falls Middle School on the district’s facility plan for over 20 years,” said Superintendent Dr. Donald Phipps. “Due to budget constraints, the project has not been possible. We wish to thank our legislators and Department of Public Instruction staff for this opportunity. With the receipt of these grant funds, the county will be able to renovate and replace a school that has served the community well.”
State Superintendent Mark Johnson announced this week that $141 million in grant funds will be awarded this year to the following districts: Anson, Ashe, Caldwell, Caswell, Cherokee, Columbus, Martin, McDowell, Mitchell, Nash, Swain and Tyrrell counties.
“We are designing a facility that will be well built and serve the test of time,” said Dr. Jeff Church, Associate Superintendent of Auxiliary Services and Supervisor on the Granite Falls Middle School construction project. “One of the oldest parts of the building will become the most state-of-the-art in technology resources. We plan to preserve the integrity of the past and blend it with the modern advances of today.”
The 1935-built auditorium is part of the existing facility that will be incorporated in the new project, which will involve renovations, additions, and alternates on the current school site. The new Granite Falls Middle School will showcase approximately 47,000 sq. ft. in renovations and approximately 53,000 sq. ft. of new construction, totaling approximately 100,500 sq. ft.
To accommodate the operations of the school without disrupting student schedules, the construction project will be phased in over two years, and construction may begin as early as this spring.
Caldwell County’s application for $15 million was reviewed and approved by the State based on priorities provided in the law and the ability to begin construction within the next 12 months.
“We are looking forward to building a new facility that will meet the needs of our students for the next 50 years or more,” said Phipps. “The Board of Education and the Board of Commissioners truly appreciate the support and opportunity this grant provides. Without this program, our ability to complete this project would not have been possible. We would like to thank all those involved for their efforts.”