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The Mooresville Graded School District Board of Education Tuesday approved a resolution asking the Iredell County Board of Commissioners to place a bond referendum on the March 2020 ballot for voters to decide whether to fund the construction of a proposed middle school.

The request comes after assessments by a joint facilities task force that studied the growing needs of the MGSD and Iredell-Statesville Schools and Mitchell Community College, said MGSD Superintendent Stephen Mauney.

The task force identified three major projects with immediate needs based on projected growth over the next decade, Mauney said. The cost for the first two projects, renovations at South and Park View elementary schools, will be covered by funds remaining from a 2014 general-obligation bond combined with funds the district will seek to borrow on its own, Mauney said.

He said the district hopes to take care of those renovations projects in the near future. District officials have discussed at previous school board meetings adding new HVAC systems and “gymtoriums,” a combination gymnasium and auditorium to each school. The cost of these two additions total $13.3 million, school officials have said.

The construction of a middle school will require a new funding source, Mauney said. The resolution, approved unanimously Tuesday by board members, formally seeks action from county commissioners to provide this funding source.

The construction of a new middle school, to be located on MGSD-owned land at Rinehardt Road near NC 115, could change the configuration of all the district’s schools to accommodate projected growth and increased school enrollment.

Currently, there are three elementary schools with grades K-3, two intermediate schools with grades four through six, one middle school with seventh and eighth grades and one high school with ninth through 12th grades.

MGSD Chief Operations Officer Michael Royal told the Board of Education at a December 2017 meeting the proposed reconfiguration would lead to three elementary schools (K-2), two intermediate schools (3-5), two middle schools (6-8) and one high school (9-12).

In other business, district officials shared state school performance data from the 2018-19 academic year released last week which revealed the MGSD ranked at No. 9 out of 115 statewide public schools. The district received an overall grade level proficiency of 69 percent compared with the state average of 59 percent. This is the 10th year in a row MGSD has ranked in the top 10. “I’m pleased to once again report the MGSD continues to rank at the top level of the state as measured by these end-of-course tests,” Mauney said.

MGSD Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Education Todd Black and MSGD Assistant Superintendent for Elementary Education Scott Smith broke the numbers down further on Tuesday. According to test score results, Smith said:

MGSD third-grade math students placed second in the state.

MGSD third-grade reading students placed ninth in the state.

MGSD third-grade students overall placed fourth in the state.

MGSD fourth-grade math students placed fourth in the state.

MGSD fifth-grade math students placed seventh in the state

MGSD sixth-grade students overall placed eighth in the state.

MGSD sixth-grade reading students placed ninth in the state.

At the secondary level, Black said test results showed:

MGSD eighth-grade students placed ninth in the state in math, reading, science and overall score

MGSD MHS students in grades 9-12 overall placed ninth in the state

School board member Leon Pridgen thanked the superintendent and the district’s teachers and support staff for the amazing job each had done to help the students achieve such high numbers. “That is an amazing thing,” Pridgen said, starting off a round of applause.

“When you rank consistently in the top couple handfuls, I think somebody is doing some pretty good work,” said School Board Chairman Roger Hyatt. “We are proud of you. As I say all the time, I am pleased and proud to be a small part of it.”

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