After about a year of negotiations with its insurance company, the Guilford County (N.C.) district will get $10.1 million for the damage three schools sustained in an April 2018 tornado.
The Greensboro News & Record reports that three elementary schools in Greensboro — Erwin Montessori, Hampton and Peeler Open — have been sharing space with other district schools since shortly after the tornado.
“The schools were not in good shape prior to the tornado, so we knew going into negotiations that securing enough money to replace them wasn’t likely,” says Scott McCully, the district’s chief operating officer.
All three schools received poor ratings in a review of district facilities earlier this year by a consultant. The company looked at not just the physical condition of schools and their property, but also whether the buildings meet the needs of a modern education.
Given the condition of these three schools before the tornado, McCully says the district is pleased with the settlement.
The Guilford County school board voted earlier this month to close Hampton permanently, citing in part the condition of the building. The school also is near a former landfill monitored by the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality.
The district plans to use part of the insurance proceeds from Travelers Indemnity Corporation (Travelers) to design a new Hampton-Peeler School for East Greensboro. A future bond issue would be needed to provide enough funds for a new school building.
The cost to build an elementary in North Carolina last year ranged from $13.9 million to $29.6 million, depending on size. The new Hunter Elementary in Greensboro, which opened in 2017, cost about $19 million.