FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — Joe Desormeaus is the associate superintendent at Cumberland County Schools. He said E.E. Smith Senior High School is just outgrowing its current building.
“There are narrow hallways. Classrooms that have to be used up because you don’t have the storage space,” Desormeaus said.
“At the end of the day you just have your systems that are old, they are at the end of their life, and they need to be replaced,” he added.
Cumberland County School Board is seeking $470 million to renovate or replace schools in Cumberland County. The funds would be used as part of a five-year plan, they’ve presented to the county commission.
E.E. Smith is on the top of the list for replacement. School leaders said around 20 buildings have outdated infrastructure and classrooms aren’t big enough for conducive learning environments.
“At this point, I can’t speculate what we are going to do or where we are going to go on that,” said Glenn Adams, chairman of Cumberland County Board of Commissioners.
Adams is an alum of E.E. Smith. He said he has not read the five-year plan attached to the proposal but he’s supportive of E.E. Smith getting a new school.
“It’s time to bring that school into the future. And with technology and all the things that can be done and with the military and all. It’s time for a new school for E.E. Smith,” Adams said.
The school’s student population declined after the pandemic to under 1,000. The building has the capacity for 1,400. The new school would have a capacity of 1,600 students.
The county manager will look at the five-year plan. Then make a recommendation to the Cumberland County Commissioners on the next steps.