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Town Hall Highlights Urgent Need for New E.E. Smith High School, Details Proposed Location and Next Steps

April 23, 2024

This evening, more than 200 stakeholders gathered for a critical Town Hall meeting to address the urgent need for a new E.E. Smith High School. Moderated by Dr. A. Jamale Johnson of Mt. Sinai Missionary Baptist Church, the event aimed to engage the community in discussions regarding the future of the beloved institution.

The Town Hall focused on three main objectives:

  • Addressing the urgent need for a new E.E. Smith High School
  • Exploring potential sites and design considerations
  • Sharing accurate information, gathering feedback, and addressing questions from stakeholders


CCS Superintendent Dr. Marvin Connelly, Jr., alongside CCS Associate Superintendent of Auxiliary Services Kevin Coleman, provided a comprehensive overview of the necessity for a modern, 21st-century facility to replace the outdated structure built in 1953. They also shared progress updates on the steps taken toward realizing this goal.

Following extensive deliberations during the January 11, 2024, Cumberland County Board of Education meeting, the Board voted 5-3 to propose the Stryker Golf Course site to the Cumberland County Commissioners as the potential location for the new E.E. Smith High School building. This decision came after a thorough evaluation of eight possible sites, with the Stryker Golf Course being identified as the most suitable option based on an assessment conducted by an engineering firm.

Cumberland County Schools officially communicated this recommendation to Cumberland County Management in January 2024. The Cumberland County Commissioners are now tasked with making the final decision on the proposal and determining the project's timeline.

"Our objective is to construct a modern, 21st-century E.E. Smith High School designed to overcome existing structural and educational challenges," said Dr. Connelly. "As a Nationally Certified STEM Campus, E.E. Smith High School provides specialized programs in science, mathematics, engineering, arts, and technology. However, despite numerous facility upgrades, the current building and spatial limitations continue to restrict the development and expansion of these cutting-edge programs. We recognize the historical significance and the deep community ties to the current E.E. Smith High School, and we carry forward this legacy with a commitment to honor its past while building on its potential."

During the Town Hall meeting, Lieutenant General Christopher T. Donahue, the Commanding General of the XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Liberty, voiced strong support for a collaborative partnership with the Cumberland County Schools. General Donahue emphasized the strategic benefits of situating the new E.E. Smith High School at the Stryker Golf Course location, a move that could secure millions in Department of Defense funding to support the project.

Additionally, Kenneth Williams, the Student Body President of E.E. Smith High School, articulated the students' aspirations for a modernized educational facility. Williams highlighted that the students' primary concern is not the location of the new school, but the quality of educational offerings and the environment that fosters growth and innovation. The students are eager for a state-of-the-art high school that equips them for future challenges and opportunities.

The Town Hall concluded with a Q&A session, allowing attendees to ask questions and provide valuable feedback.

For more information on the E.E. Smith Project, click below.

Attendees signing in at the town hallTown Hall attendeesLieutenant General Christopher T. Donahue the Commanding General of the XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Liberty, North CarolinaCCS Superintendent Dr. Marvin Connelly, Jr.

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more information on the E.E. Smith Project, click below.
New E.E. Smith High School Frequently Asked Questions