Dare Ed Board to hold July 10 public hearing on Early College plan

By on July 1, 2024

Following a call for a town hall meeting on the issue from Dare Commissioner Chair Bob Woodard at their June 3 meeting, the Dare Board of Education will hold a public hearing on the plan for a Dare County Early College on Wednesday, July 10.

The Board of Education hearing and meeting will be held at First Flight High School at 5 p.m.

According to the plan as it now stands, in August 2025, about 50 ninth graders will constitute the inaugural class of the Dare Early College, using classrooms available on the College of Albemarle (COA) campus in Manteo. A new Early College building adjacent to the COA campus and estimated to cost between 19 and 25 million dollars, would be ready for occupancy for the 2026 school year.

The backdrop to this June 10 hearing was an impassioned discussion at that June 3 Dare Commissioners meeting that saw voices raised in opposition to the Early College idea and an impassioned response by Dare Schools Superintendent Steve Basnight.

Those speaking against the Early College included three candidates running for seats on the Dare Board of Commissioners as Democrats—Dennis Zaenger, Aida Havel and Katie Morgan. During her remarks, Havel said the commissioners would be “alienating the parents of Dare County” if they approved Early College funding and she urged them to “listen to the parents, and the community and have another meeting with the school board.”

For his part, Basnight at the June 3 meeting, unveiled a lengthy list and “timeline” of “who [the Early College idea] has been discussed with and when,” dating back more than five years, while noting skeptically that, “I’m hearing we haven’t talked to anyone about it.”

At that meeting, Dare Board of Education Chair Twiddy also cited “false information [in] the community” about the Dare County Early College.

It was then that Woodard, who voiced support for Basnight and the Early College, told Twiddy that “I’d like to hold a town hall meeting in Dare County as soon as possible. And let’s hear from the public about Early College.”

That will now happen on July 10.

Public hearing on DCS Early College Plan – Wednesday, July 10 at 5 p.m. at First Flight High School, 100 Veterans Dr. Kill Devil Hills.  Click here to Live-Stream Dare County Board of Education Meetings.  


Barnhill Building Group has been selected as the Construction Manager @ Risk by the College of the Albemarle and is seeking to pre-qualify construction trade contractors to submit bids for the furnishing labor, materials, equipment, and tools for the new College of The Albemarle – Allied Health Sciences Simulation Lab (COA Health Sciences) located in Elizabeth City, NC. Please note: Only subcontractors who have been prequalified by Barnhill will be able to submit a Bid.

The project consists of the new construction of a 38,000-sf, 2-story expansion to the existing Owens Health Sciences Center and will house classrooms, labs, and a simulation lab. The site is just over just over 4.5 acres and is located on an active campus. This new construction will be a steel structure with a brick and metal panel veneer, curtainwall, and storefront glazing with a PVC roof membrane.

Principal trade and specialty contractors are solicited for the following Bid Packages:

BP0100: General Trades

BP0105: Final Cleaning

BP0390: Turnkey Concrete

BP0400: Turnkey Masonry

BP0500: Structural Steel & Misc. Steel

BP0740: Roofing

BP0750: Metal Panels

BP0790: Caulking / Caulking

BP0800: Turnkey Doors/Frames/Hardware

BP0840: Glass & Glazing

BP0925: Drywall

BP0960: Resilient Flooring

BP0980: Acoustical Ceilings

BP0990: Painting & Wallcovering

BP1005: Toilet Specialties / Accessories / Division 10

BP1010: Signage

BP1098: Demountable Partitions

BP1230: Finish Carpentry and Casework

BP1250: Window Treatment

BP1400: Elevators

BP2100: Fire Protection

BP2200: Plumbing

BP2300: HVAC

BP2600: Turnkey Electrical

BP3100: Turnkey Sitework

BP3290: Landscaping

Packages may be added and/or deleted at the discretion of the Construction Manager. Historically underutilized business firms are encouraged to complete participation submittals.

HUB/MWBE OUTREACH MEETING: Barnhill Building Group will be conducting a HUB/MWBE Informational Session. You are encouraged to attend the following session to learn more about project participation opportunities available to you. These seminars will help to: Learn about project and scope; Inform and train Minority/HUB contractors in preparation for bidding this project; Assist in registration on the State of North Carolina Vendor link; Stimulate opportunities for Networking with other firms. Location and time TBD. Please visit our planroom at https://app.buildingconnected.com/public/54da832ce3edb5050017438b for more information.

Interested contractors should submit their completed prequalification submittals, by July 22, 2024, to Meredith Terrell at mterrell@barnhillcontracting.com or hardcopies can be mailed to Barnhill Contracting Company PO Box 31765 Raleigh, NC 27622 (4325 Pleasant Valley Road, NC 27612).



  • Not sold

    A new building for early college costing 19-25Million, I’ll bet 25M, if lucky. That is a staggering amount for early college! I do not know all details but I do know there has always been the ability to graduate from high school with college course credits, associates degree and or other certificates. Dare County does “pay” for 2 years at COA, right after graduation, I believe. Just not sold on what Bob and the BoE are trying to sell. I think the 2 years and ability to graduate with exceeded standards is awesome and that is already happening cost free to the student.

    Monday, Jul 1 @ 9:15 pm
  • charlie

    There is a string of $$$$$$$ expenditures we have heard nothing about…..How much more will this cost each year if it is instituted?… We are talking another building with associated costs to maintain, more staff, heating and cooling, electricity costs, transportation just to name a few….
    Town meetings are good.. But why not put it to a referendum..?.. Ask the people what we prefer…this new school system or using the 25 million for needed work on current buildings..

    Wednesday, Jul 3 @ 4:54 pm
  • Kitty Hawker

    Wednesday, Jul 3 @ 7:26 pm
  • Mark Jurkowitz | Outer Banks Voice

    From a Feb. 2024 Outer Banks Voice story.

    Prior to Basnight’s presentation, County Manager Bobby Outten reviewed the county’s ongoing efforts to create an early college. An initial plan to use two buildings from the old COA campus on Russell Twiford Road was discarded when it was discovered that the cost to renovate the two buildings was around $17 million. At that point, he said, the Capital Improvement Committee “decided it would be better to build a new building” for not all that much more money.

    Thursday, Jul 4 @ 8:47 am
  • OBX Resident

    In the earlier Outer Banks Voice article that ‘Kitty Hawker’ cited,
    Dare County Manager Bobby Outten said the Twiford Road “property requires minimal renovation and is ready to go.” The early college high school program, he added, “will be a collaboration between COA and the Dare County Schools.” If Outten says the property is ‘ready to go’ why is the County now proposing to spend $25,000,000 on a new building? Woodard needs to address the need and be transparent and fiscally responsible.

    Sunday, Jul 7 @ 9:09 am
  • Arthur Pewty

    This is like the cheap labor housing issue where the government pretends to care what the taxpayers think after they’ve already decided to throw the money down the rat-hole.

    Sunday, Jul 7 @ 9:58 am
  • Another name

    Outten stated multiple times that the Twiford building would cost 17mil to update and change the building so that it could be used for early college. Now we are still talking about a 8mil difference and the new building will go on the campus with the COA Dare buildings not replace the Twiford building. The question that now begs to be asked is what will happen to the Twiford building and lot?

    Sunday, Jul 7 @ 6:09 pm
  • Larry

    So the county will build a facility on COA property and work together? What happens if the relationship goes sour ? Sounds like it would be a better solution for the county to build on their own property to remedy any possible conflicts. This is a money grab and now we need to know who will be the beneficiary of it…

    Monday, Jul 8 @ 7:25 am
  • Wayne

    Hear we go again Bob wants to spend more money! We have stop this man!!!! .

    Monday, Jul 8 @ 9:38 am
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