Wayne County Government issued the following release on Wednesday regarding the construction of the new Fremont Elementary School:
In October 2020, the Wayne County Board of Commissioners and Wayne County Board of Education met in Fremont to announce a new school to replace Fremont STARS Elementary. This new school would replace a facility built in 1923 with a modern school that accommodates more students. The parties planned to construct the school using a $15 million grant received through the State’s Needs-Based Public School Capital Fund grant program for Fremont Elementary. Under the terms of the grant, the County must produce a $5 million match out of the local budget and forfeit lottery funds of approximately $1.2 million annually for five years.
On June 1, 2021, the Board of Commissioners approved the basic terms of a funding agreement using grant money received through the NC Needs-Based Public School Grant Program. A summary of these terms was hand-delivered to Wayne County Public Schools on June 2, 2021. The proposed terms called for the Board of Commissioners to fully fund the entire match and any costs exceeding the $20 million grant. Per North Carolina General Statutes, the Board of Commissioners is responsible for the funding of school construction. To work together towards the construction of Fremont Elementary, the Commissioners provided these proposed terms to the Board of Education. This is not something required under state law but was done to promote a positive working relationship.
As of today, the Board of Commissioners has not received a signed agreement response from the Board of Education accepting the proposal. “This is very frustrating as we work to move forward with construction of this school as soon as possible,” said Chairman George Wayne Aycock Jr. “Wayne County has agreed to fund the construction of this school, and we cannot understand any hold up from the public school system. We are ready to move on this but cannot until the Board of Education approves this funding proposal. We hope this will happen soon as construction costs increase daily.”