By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
WILMINGTON - The New Hanover County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a "Joint Resolution with New Hanover County Board of Education to Notify Newland Communities a School is Needed in RiverLights" during their Monday November 20th, meeting.
RiverLights is a new master-planned community located off River Road in Wilmington, NC. The new community plans to build approximately 2,700 homes including a mix of townhomes, single family homes and age-qualified neighborhood, 30 acre lake, mixed use commercial area and a Marina Village with 112 slips. The plan also includes shops, restaurants, a boardwalk, crab dock, event lawn and walking trails. According to County officials the developer of RiverLights, Newland Communities, has reserved a site no less than 15 acres for an elementary school through a Development Agreement with the City of Wilmington. In accordance with the Development Agreement, New Hanover County and New Hanover County Board of Education must notify Newland Communities that an elementary school is needed to adequately serve this section of the County, and the School Board determined it needs to make the notice now.
A joint resolution was prepared by the Board of Education to make that notification, which was approved by the Board of Education on Tuesday, November 7, 2017.
Neither the County nor the Schools have identified funding for construction of a new school at the site. The school staff has identified a school in that area as a priority.
The resolution adopted during Monday's meeting states:
WHEREAS, New Hanover County and New Hanover County Board of Education are responsible for providing adequate educational school facilities to meet a growing population of students; and
WHEREAS, Newland Communities is the developer of RiverLights, a 1, 400 -acre planned community located along River Road in Wilmington, North Carolina; and
WHEREAS, Newland Communities, through a Development Agreement with the City of Wilmington, recorded with the Register of Deeds Office in Book 5415, page 2124, shall reserve a site no less than fifteen ( 15) acres in size for an elementary school; and
WHEREAS, in accordance with the same Development Agreement, New Hanover County and New Hanover County Board of Education must notify Newland Communities within the first twenty (20) years of the agreement that an elementary school located within RiverLights is needed to adequately serve this section of the County; and
WHEREAS, provided that a suitable location within RiverLights can be agreed upon, then Newland Communities shall dedicate that tract to New Hanover County Board of Education in fee simple along with other necessary easements for utilities and access.
IT IS THEREFORE RESOLVED, New Hanover County and New Hanover County Board of Education hereby provide notice in accordance with the aforementioned Development Agreement that an elementary school located within RiverLights is needed to adequately serve this section of the County and it is the desire of New Hanover County Board of Education to proceed with planning of this future elementary school.
During the Monday meeting County Commissioner Jonathan Barfield said, "I definitely want to note for the citizens that we are forward thinking in looking towards the future as we continue to grow in our community to make sure we have adequate schools and facilities for the students and citizens here and want to thank those with Newland Communities for making this land available as well."
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