Lowe’s, Dale Jr. back Iredell school bonds

Mooresville-based Lowe’s on Tuesday urged Iredell County voters to support $131.5 million in school bonds that are on the Nov. 4 general election ballot.

“Making sure schools have the funding they need to excel in educating our students is key to building great communities,” Brian Peace, Lowe’s corporate administrative executive, said in a letter to the Observer.

“What’s more, it’s also good for business,” Peace said. “Companies like Lowe’s depend on an educated workforce, and local school quality is a primary factor in attracting and retaining the best employees.”

On Sunday, NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt Jr., who graduated from Mooresville High School in 1992, also supported the bonds in a full-page Mooresville Tribune ad paid for by the pro-bonds group Our Schools First.

“These bonds will fund critical facility needs for both Iredell-Statesville and Mooresville Graded School Districts as well as for Mitchell Community College,” Earnhardt said in the ad.

The bonds would provide nearly $80 million for five Iredell-Statesville projects, $40 million for improvements to Mooresville High School, its gym and auditorium, and $12 million for a two-story Allied Health building at Mitchell Community College’s main Statesville campus.

The bonds would require a tax increase of 4.25 cents per $100 assessed valuation, from 48.50 cents at present. The owner of a home valued at $200,000 would see an $85 annual increase, from $970 to $1,055.