‘MUCK OUT’ COMPLETE Middle School still needs major work

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In the Middle School gymnasium, the hardwood basketball court is gone forever.

STONEWALL – No reprieve yet for the sixth, seventh, and eighth graders of Pamlico Middle School, who will continue classes just a mile away at Pamlico Primary, next to K thru 2 youngsters.

School Superintendent Lisa Jackson and Middle School Principal Jeremy Johnson both told the Board of Education Tuesday morning that “it will happen again” – a reference to the hurricane-induced floods that have ravaged the large building and campus two times in the last seven years!

Although rumblings about a “new building” at a “new location” were heard during a far-reaching session of the seven-member board – Jackson said at one point “we need to start some very serious discussions about how we are going to move forward” – everyone focused Tuesday on the immediate problem at hand – remediation and rehabilitation for “25 percent of our school system!”


Nothing but bare walls, floors, and no ceiling in the Sixth Grade hallway.

Steve Curtis, the veteran finance office of Pamlico County Schools, has likely been suffering from deja vue over the past month. He was the point person seven years ago for the same agonizing task . . . with one major exception.

When Irene hit in 2011, the school system had no flood insurance in place!

Fast forward to 2018, Curtis told the Board of Education “that as much as I disliked having to pay that premium each year, I am happy we had flood insurance this time. We have $1 million-plus coverage for the buildings and contents.”

Nevertheless, Curtis told the board that estimated repairs to the campus’ five buildings now total $650,000 (and climbing) “and I am not looking forward to doing spreadsheets on all of the contents that we lost. The clean-up or muck-out, or whatever you want to call it is complete, but there is a lot more that needs to be done. The next task is asbestos abatement for some of the tile floors.”

The rest of his list was long. Ceiling tiles throughout, possibly a “polished concrete floor like you see at Walmart,” dual heating, ventilation, and air conditioning units in the school’s gymnasium, and complete furnishings.

You know me,” said Curtis. “I was constantly asking ‘why do you need to throw that out?’ I really wanted to keep the mats from the weight room but the industrial hygienist convinced me.”

John Prescott, chairman of the Pamlico County Board of Education, praised the staff, administrators, faculty, and students for coping with an incredibly difficult situation. He pledged that his board will do whatever it takes to bring back the Middle School to full functionality – although the actual date cannot be determined.

School doesn’t stop,” said Prescott.

More photos of the clean-up

(click thumbnails to enlarge)