Jones County shows off its new school
Numerous local and state officials joined in the ribbon cutting ceremony Monday at the Jones County K-12 school. Photo by Junious Smith III / Neuse News
TRENTON — The most state-of-the-art school in North Carolina is located in Jones County.
The new K-12 school, at 1378 N.C. Hwy 58 in Trenton, is close to the original Jones Senior High School location and provides numerous advantages. The 123,000-square foot building has wings to separate the elementary, middle and high schools, while also providing a new hub for community gatherings and a focus on agriculture. Teachers can also use an internal dashboard to see how the school is performing.
The school uses geothermal well field heat pumps, air scrubbers, LED lighting and thousands of solar panels on the roof, which is predicted to create up to 70 percent more energy than it consumes. The school is also built to withstand hurricane-force winds of up to 115 miles per hour — including gusts of 142.
Jones County Superintendent Michael Bracy said it’s the start of a great era for children in Jones County.
“It’s an amazing day and I’m excited to see the community’s support,” Bracy said. “Most importantly, I’m excited kids get this space and we can’t forget that — they deserve every piece of this state-of-the-art building.”
Jones County Board of Education Vice Chairman Michael Wilder said it was a long time coming.
“It’s a blessing we waited 40-plus years for and I never thought I’d live to see it,” Wilder said. “We’re one of the few areas to have a K-12 school, which will allow us to protect students better on one campus. Parents can just come here and handle everything instead of needing to drive to multiple places for their children, and it puts those in other schools like Maysville Elementary or Pollocksville Elementary a little closer.”
Norma Sermon-Boyd served as Jones County Schools’ superintendent from 1993-2002 and saw a pair of new schools built during her tenure — Comfort Elementary in 1996 and Maysville Elementary two years later. Sermon-Boyd said the new school was an amazing step above previous construction.
“You can’t outdo something like this,” Sermon-Boyd said. “It’s a top-of-the-line building and one that’s definitely worth waiting for.”
Jones Senior’s Suddona Murrell, who was recently awarded Jones County Public Schools Teacher of the Year, said this building provides nothing but positives for the students.
“We as teachers can heal or humiliate, humanize or dehumanize,” Murrell said. “Our main goal is to make kids better, not bitter, and I feel like this will be an environment conducive to learning.”