County will study merger, but scraps courthouse plans

The biggest news from the Columbus County commissioners meeting Monday night wasn’t about school merger but a surprise decision to scrap plans to renovate the historic Columbus County courthouse.
The commissioners voted instead to re-allocate funds previously designated to renovate the courthouse – about $4 million – into the school construction fund.
Commissioners then voted to move forward with funding current construction plans to consolidate some smaller county schools into larger, newer ones, and for the city schools to proceed with construction on a new classroom building for Whiteville High School.
Sen. Danny Britt and Rep. Brenden Jones appeared earlier in the meeting and recommended that the commissioners form an ad hoc committee composed of three members of both the city and county school boards, plus two commissioners, to explore an independent study on merger. The commissioners took the legislators’ recommendation under advisement but made no appointments.
See Thursday’s News Reporter for the full story.