ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. — Rocky Mount is battling old age. The city's only senior high school needs to be replaced. After months of wrangling, a steering committee recommended a $23 million project to replace the school and keep it right where it is.
More than 1,400 students now walk the halls of Rocky Mount Senior High School. Its long and rich history includes Gov. Mike Easley, a 1968 graduate. Alongside all the memories are some problems: the school is showing its age. Principal Judy Bradshaw is among many pushing for a new school.
"Although there have been additions over the years, we feel like to keep pace with the other schools within the state and the nation, we really need to do some upgrading," said Judy Bradshaw, principal of Rocky Mount Senior High School.
A Rocky Mount Senior High School steering committee considered several options -- building a new facility somewhere else or rebuilding the school on its existing campus.
Over the past seven months, the steering committee heard from lots of people who want to keep the high school downtown. The committee agreed and recommended that the school remain at its current location. Pete Varney, Rocky Mount's assistant city manager, said that will require some creative construction work.
"I think the plan is to build a section new and then tear down a section and build another section and tear down another section in order to shoe horn this facility, so to speak, onto this site," he said. "That part is going to be a challenge."
Nash County will provide most of the $23 million for the project. Officials said they will not have to raise taxes or borrow the money.