06/20/04 — Duplin schools hire consultant

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Duplin schools hire consultant

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on June 20, 2004 2:02 AM

KENANSVILLE -- The Duplin County school board has hired a consultant to address overcrowding, racial imbalance and academic improvement.

The school system will pay $35,000 to Shueller, Ferris, Lindstrom & Associates in Fayetteville, a consulting firm that specializes in designing schools. It has a staff of about 40 people, three of whom are retired school superintendents.

Consultant Robbie Ferris, who was not at the meeting Tuesday, told the board earlier this month that he has designed more high schools in North Carolina in the past few years than any other architect.

The board has been considering proposals offered by groups in three school attendance areas. One group wants to merge North Duplin and James Kenan high schools. Another says it wants to keep the high schools the way they are. A third group seeks a high school for the B.F. Grady school district.

Meanwhile, the school board and county officials are meeting together to find out how to pay for a new middle school for Warsaw and E.E. Smith students. The committee had stopped meeting after finding out there was no state or federal money available, but the Board of Education has asked the group to continue working to find money.