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Committee forms to promote Iredell school bonds

BARIUM SPRINGS Sixty Iredell County community leaders launched a campaign on Tuesday to promote passage of a $119 million school bond referendum in November.

“Generations to come will benefit from this effort,” Mooresville Superintendent Mark Edwards told those gathered at Little Joe’s Chapel and Enrichment Center for the kick-off meeting of the 2014 Education Bond Steering Committee.

If the referendum passes, the Mooresville Graded School District would get $40 million to replace the gym and auditorium at Mooresville High School and completely renovate the school.

Iredell-Statesville Schools would receive $79.5 million for five projects:

• $13.5 million to refurbish Cool Spring Elementary School.

• $19 million for new auditorium/arts areas at North Iredell and South Iredell high schools.

• $23.5 million to move Northview IB Middle School to Statesville Middle School and build a new Statesville Middle School on the campus of Third Creek Elementary School.

• $23.5 million to move Mount Mourne IB Middle School to Brawley Middle School and build a new Brawley Middle on the campus of Woodland Heights Elementary School.

Under a separate referendum in November, Mitchell Community College, which is based in Statesville and has a Mooresville campus, asks for $12 million for a new building to bring its nursing and other health service programs under one roof.

Now it’s up to the committee to sell the need to voters. The committee has representatives from local governments, schools, civic organizations, churches and the business community, including a half-dozen banks and major corporations such as Mooresville-based Lowe’s and BestCo, formerly BestSweet.

Committee members will arrange phone banks, print fact sheets for students to take home to their parents and spread the message over Facebook, Twitter and other social media and by going door to door.

They’ll also engage senior citizen organizations in the county for bond support, as about 80 percent of Iredell voters don’t have children in the school systems.”

Bond committee co-chairperson David Coble said the committee will take a unified message to voters. “It’s about community ownership of our schools,” said Coble, who works for Bank of America and is a Mooresville town commissioner.

Marusak: 704-358-5067; Twitter: @jmarusak
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