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news blog > article

New year opens with new school in Bladen County

January 16, 2024 Posted by NC Lottery at 11:29 AM

On Monday, Jan. 8, the new Tar Heel School opened its doors to elated elementary and middle school students and their teachers. Some of those students previously attended a school originally built back in 1925.

“This is so exciting for Bladen County Schools,” said Dr. Jason Atkinson, superintendent. “For our students, staff, and the community, it is just amazing that we have an opportunity to do this.”

The new school combines both Plain View Primary School and Tar Heel Middle School into one, new-and-improved campus.

Watch this video to tour the new Tar Heel School.

Pre-K through 2nd grade classes are stocked with the new, the colorful, and all of the cozy seats you can imagine. Pre-K students even get their own swing set.

The 3rd through 5th grade wing leads students down a hall with state-of-the-art technology, modular seating to promote group learning, and a pickleball court just outside their end of the hall.

Perhaps the most eye-catching feature will be the collaborative learning space in the middle school wing with a wide hall equipped with pods of comfortable seating and winding bookshelves.

Larger classrooms all over the new school provide ample room for kids to spread their proverbial wings.

Designed with growth and sustainability in mind, each wing houses two spare classrooms ready to accommodate a growing enrollment and solar panels to help power the school and cut energy costs.

Connie Purdie, a parent and a substitute teacher at the school, nearly cried when she toured her daughter’s new campus.

“I have been telling people everywhere I go, ‘my daughter is going to a new school!’” she exclaimed. “The building is beautiful for one thing but when you drive up it’s like, ‘oh my god, where are we at?’ I love it!”

Heather Bobbey, a seventh-grade teacher, believes the new school will revolutionize learning.

“It really is exciting to have kids in the building,” Bobbey said.

This incredible building could not have been built without your support. Your play afforded Bladen County $40 million from the Needs-Based Public School Capital Fund, a school construction program funded mostly with lottery dollars. The total project cost $47 million.

“We are getting a school in our county at a cost of just $7 million, locally,” said Atkinson. “This is like the Cadillac version of a school. We are so thankful for the funding that the lottery helped us with.”

Join us in wishing everyone at Tar Heel School a stellar rest of the year in the comments below!


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