$52 million grant will fund renovation of Lenoir County middle school

LA GRANGE, N.C. (WITN) -It was an exciting day for one county here in Eastern Carolina after they received a huge grant from the state to renovate an existing school.

A Lenoir County Schools was in for a big surprise this morning to the tune of $52 million.

E.B. Frink Middle School in Lenoir County has been around since 1921 and over time has become worn down, and dilapidated, so the school system applied for a grant to help renovate the school.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Catherine Truitt, says she came down to ask questions about their grant application without giving it away that the school had already been selected.

“I wanted it to be a big surprise for everyone in the room, my colleagues in the legislature were able to get everybody here and I got the answers to the questions that I needed. Then I let the room know that they had been chosen for a 52 million dollar grant to build a new middle school” Says Truitt.

The Lenoir County superintendent says the walls and classrooms in E.B. Frink Middle School will be torn down and rebuilt in a few months.

“We believe the new middle school will give our La Grange students and our community the best learning environment we can provide. that’s what they deserve and that’s what we are determined to give them,” said Superintendent Brent Williams.

Truitt says the school was picked out of 100 applications and chose this school based on things such as the growth of the community and conditions.

“To see all the leadership in this room turn out and the strong support for this grant is something special for La Grange and Lenoir County public schools,” said Truitt.

Williams says they have been preparing for this moment and are already ready to get this moving.

“So we are ready to go and all the groundwork is laid and all we have to do is sign the paperwork and we will get started immediately,” said Williams.

To complete the project, a total of $57 million is needed and Williams says they were able to receive extra funding for that matched $5 million to give them the full amount.

Williams says they aren’t sure of when they will be breaking ground but it should be within a few months.